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Artists called to add to Canada 150 project
Travelling shipping container offers opportunity to add work

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Artists looking to make their mark during the Canada 150 events are invited to sign up to become part of the Art Express'd mobile gallery.

NNSL photograph

Jessie Buchanan leads students in an art workshop. As part of Canada 150 celebrations, the Winnipeg Art Gallery has sent artists and shipping containers around the country to engage communities in the creation of art. - Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

Jessie Buchanan is one of three artists travelling the nation to host art workshops, hear people's stories and collect art in a mobile studio made from a shipping container.

They're each starting at different ends of the country, and will be meeting at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which is leading this project.

She's here until National Aboriginal Day June 21, when the mobile gallery will be on display for community members to check out each other's work.

"It's a very whimsical and ambitious and I think very important project right now, especially given the time in history with Canada 150 and things that are happening with truth and reconciliation," said Buchanan at the project's debut Friday, June 9.

"We have so many voices to be heard at the table, so I think this project is really important in order to bring those voices forward, but also bringing them forward with artwork and the arts."

She held a workshop for students that consisted of them making art out of mini-shipping containers.

Canada is a big country and people often stay in their own communities, so connecting them all through art is important, said Buchanan.

"I think art is a way to bridge and come together with a common purpose," she said. "I think art is a way to engage and be with each other."

As an indigenous artist herself, Buchanan also believes this is an important part of truth and reconciliation.

"I'm using this as an opportunity to hopefully engage in some of those calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission," she said.

In addition to the canvases, she also has a giant mural she is hoping Inuvik residents can add to and help her complete.

Anyone interested in signing up for one of the canvases to be displayed in the mobile art gallery, which will eventually be stationed in Winnipeg, is invited to sign up at the Midnight Sun Complex.

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