By Brad Bellegarde

REGINA SK – Hundreds of people gathered at the Mackenzie Art Gallery’s (MAG) opening of the multi-artist exhibit, Moving Forward Never Forgetting (MFNF) on Friday night.

The evening started with a community collaborated performance by renowned Tahltan Nation artist, Peter Morin, and was followed by a song to honour the passing of Michele Sereda and Lacy Morin-Desjarlais, who both had a unique connection to the exhibit.

According to Executive Director and CEO Anthony Kiendl MFNF offers more than just the visual experience. “It’s less about static objects on the wall and more about the experience,” he said. “It’s about sharing stories [and] artists sharing with communities. We have never really done that before at the Mackenzie.”

Michelle LaVallee, associate curator of the MAG and co-curator of the exhibit, said the pieces in the show tell a story about the impact of colonialism and more importantly, each story is personal to the artist.

MAG Adrian Stimson SIck And Tired

Adrian Stimson’s piece titled Sick and Tired

“The issues and the subject matter that [are] being covered in this show [are] really important.” She said. “In particular we really wanted a show that could emphasize individual interpretation of these traumatic histories that we all share and how we can all move forward together.”

New to the MAG is the position of the Indigenous Story Keeper, whose role is to share stories with the general public. Stories are gathered from the artists and shared, but the Story Keeper also lends an ear to those who want to share stories of their life.

Janine Windolph, one of the Story Keepers says the role is great because of the interactions with the public. “I really enjoyed talking to people about some of the stories I’ve learned,” she said. “From the response I got from the people, it was a good experience and they felt that this exhibit is what was needed for the Mackenzie.”

MFNF runs from February 27, 2015 to April 19th, 2015.

 

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