Aboriginal art in the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia will once again be exhibited in consecrated galleries after a Mi’kmaw blessing today, Friday, Jan. 10. Galleries dedicated to works by First nations, Inuit and Metis artists have been moved to new space, reflecting a growing collection.
“Nova Scotia has worked for years to build a strong, healthy relationship with Aboriginal people,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Building and showing the province’s collection of Aboriginal art helps us accomplish our goals and helps visitors to better understand this vital relationship.”
The move brings the paintings, prints, sculptures, and fine craft to a larger and more-visited area of the art gallery’s north building, a mezzanine that rings the Zwicker Gallery. The new sightlines invite viewers to make connections between the Aboriginal work and work from the broader permanent collection. The larger space is appropriate given the significant recent growth in work by Aboriginal artists that the gallery has collected.
“Nova Scotia’s collection of Aboriginal art gives us opportunity to see through the eyes of the first peoples of this continent,” said Ray Cronin, Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. “This growing collection and the works exhibited in the Zwicker gallery below can now be viewed in relation to each other.”
Mi’kmaw elder Marlene Companion blessed the new space during a smudging ceremony and prayer with All Nations Drum.
The new galleries are the ExxonMobil and the Anthony and Jane Shaw Law galleries, names attached to the previous space on the second floor of the south building.
On view now is Shifting Ground, which speaks figuratively and literally about movement from one place, form, or position to another. The exhibition opened in October, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Mi’kmaq History Month. The title and the works included in the exhibition connect the past and the present, nature and culture, and time and space. All the works are from the permanent collection.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada with a mission to engage people with art. With locations in downtown Halifax and Yarmouth, the gallery houses the province’s art collection and offers a range of exceptional exhibitions, education and public programming. For information on these galleries visit the exhibition page for Shifting Ground.
Media contact: Nicole Watkins Campbell | Communications Advisor | Art Gallery of Nova Scotia | 902-424-2903 | firstname.lastname@example.org