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Towards Braiding: Dreaming of Anti-colonial Futures in the Forest City


September 14 - October 13, 2023 Opening reception September 14 at 7PM with Maryanne Kechego


As Forest City Gallery turns 50, we are thinking about what 50 more years looks like for us, and the roles and responsibilities we have as one of the longest running artist-run centres, located in Dish with One Spoon territory.

We invite you to join us, with open hearts and minds, in conversations about decolonizing arts, arts education, and institutions.


As an artist-run center that fosters and supports contemporary art, promoting dialogue among local, regional, and international arts communities, we believe it is important to come together as a community to collectively imagine decolonial futures for arts and arts education in our city.


This is just a small beginning step. To prepare, let’s begin reading Towards Braiding by Vanessa Andreotti and Elmwood Jimmy together.Towards Braiding comes out of discussions and sharing between the authors and the Musagetes Foundation, and this book will be our guide. Each week leading up to this series, we will post questions and quotes to inform the conversations that will emerge and take literal shape on our gallery walls in the Fall.


This interactive exhibit and conversation series invites Londoners to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as Treaty People, and collectively dream of anti-colonial futures, together using Towards Braiding as our guide. This series serves as an entry point for anyone curious—or actively working towards—decolonizing art, institutions, as well as arts and education, broadly. A highly participatory exhibition event, visitors to the gallery are invited to reflect and contribute to the conversation on the literal walls of our space. As panels and workshops occur between September and October, recordings and transcriptions will also be available for visitors to engage with.


Image courtesy of Sara Mai Chitty, June 2018.





Download a pdf version of the Towards Braiding poster.

 


Panel: Indigenous Art as Teacher September 20, 1:30 - 3:30 PM, online and at Forest City Gallery


The Forest City Gallery and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western are pleased to present "Indigenous Art as Teacher," featuring Sara Mai Chitty, Beth Hundey, Summer Bressette, and Jennifer Komorowski


Register to join us online.


Register to join us in-person.


Each of our panelists are educators from across the disciplines and will be discussing how Indigenous arts and arts creation are powerful pedagogical tools to connect students holistically to perspectives on decolonization through Indigenous lenses.


This event is supported by the Forest City Gallery, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Public Humanities at Western, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities.


Event Facebook page, via Public Humanities at Western.

 



Workshop: Indigenous Perspectives in Media September 26, 3:30 - 6:30 PM at Forest City Gallery


September 26, 3:30 - 6:30 PM at Forest City Gallery The Forest City Gallery and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western are pleased to present a screening of "Reel Injun," followed by a discussion with Sally Kewayosh and Sara Mai Chitty. Register to join us online. Register to join us onsite. Join us for a community screening of the documentary film Reel Injun, followed by a discussion with Indigenous filmmaker and storyteller Sally Kewayosh. The film traces the evolution of cinema’s depiction of Indigenous people across North America from the silent film era to today, with clips from hundreds of classic and recent Hollywood movies, and candid interviews with celebrated Indigenous and non-Indigenous film celebrities, activists, film critics, and historians. This event is supported by the Forest City Gallery, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Public Humanities at Western, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities. You can stream Reel Injun free of charge on the National Film Board's website. Visit the Public Humanities at Western Facebook page for this event.

 



Panel: Indigenizing Spaces October 3, 12 - 2 PM, online and at Forest City Gallery


With Mike Cywink (Anishinaabe artist), Paula Cornelius-Hedgepeth (Office of Indigenous

Initiatives, Western University), Laura Ramirez (Office of Indigenous

Initiatives, Western University). Moderated by Sheri Osden Nault (Metis artist, Department of Visual Arts, Western University).


The Forest City Gallery and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western are pleased to present "Indigenizing Spaces," featuring Mike Cywink (Anishinaabe artist), Paula Cornelius-Hedgepeth (Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Western University), Laura Ramirez (Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Western University). Moderated by Sheri Osden Nault (Metis artist, Department of Visual Arts, Western University).


Register to join us online.


Register to join us in-person.


Indigenizing spaces can take on many forms, whether it is art, community relations or naturalizing green spaces. Join our esteemed panelists in conversation on what it means to integrate Indigenous culture into spaces.


This event is supported by the Forest City Gallery, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Public Humanities at Western, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities.


Event Facebook page, via Public Humanities at Western.

 


Image courtesy of Leith Mahkewa.


Art Now! Speaker Series: Leith Mahkewa October 5, 7 PM, Western University

Register for the Zoom Webinar.


In partnership with the Forest City Gallery, the Art Now Series is pleased to present an artist talk by Leith Mahkewa, Indigenous Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Visual Arts at Western University. Art Now! Presents: Leith Mahkewa 5 October 2023, 7:00PM Master beadwork artist Leith Mahkewa is currently based in Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Territory of Kahnawake (Quebec), where she lives with her husband and four children. Mahkewa’s roots are through the Oneida Nation of the Thames. She has been creating beadwork for over 16 years. She tends to create pieces mainly in the Iroquois raised beadwork style and is moving towards incorporating more Hopi imagery into her creation to honour her father's family.


As the incoming Indigenous Artist-in-Residence at Western, Mahkewa will join us to talk about her art practice, which often juxtaposes the geometric shapes found in her Hopi family pottery patterns and Haudenosaunee inspired floral designs. The complexity of both cultures and design styles, when combined and manipulated, create a one-of-a-kind form of beadwork. Her art practice also makes a social statement that speaks to the current social realities of Indigenous life, whether the devastating lack of access to clean water or the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her talk will also offer an opportunity to talk about her vision for her tenure as the Artist-in-Residence.


All Art Now Speakers’ Series lectures are free and open to the public. This talk is generously supported by The Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Forest City Art Gallery, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and the Public Humanities at Western.

 

Towards Braiding: Dreaming of Anti-colonial Futures in the Forest City is presented in partnership with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western University, Western University's Department of Visual Arts and the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, and supported by Public Humanities at Western.


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