Tuesday, January 02, 2024

December 2023 at the Heard Museum

Denis and I have been wanting to see this new exhibition at the Heard Museum since it opened in September. Finally, all the stars aligned so we could get there, and it was worth the wait. Join me on a little tour!

Ojibwa bandolier bag from Lake of the Woods, c. 1900. Beadwork on fabric.

Denis was enjoying himself, too.

"Wedding at Sodom," 2017. Acrylic on canvas. Artist: Kent Monkman.

"Girl with Dreams," 1983. Oil on canvas. Artist: Arthur Shilling.

"The Bureaucratic Supremist," 1975. Acrylic on canvas. Artist: Alex Janvier.

"Bear Feeding," 1975. Acrylic on canvas. Artist: Blake Debassige.

Gallery view.

"COVID-19 Mask No. 8," 2020. Glass beads, mask, thread, backing. Artist: Ruth Cuthand. When COVID-19 made landfall in Canada, Cuthand reflected on historic epidemics that devastated indigenous communities. This mask is an acknowledgment of those historic losses and of the inequities in health care that persist in Indigenous communities today.

Top: Great Lakes First Nation Wampum belt, c. 1770. Bottom: Sash, c. 1770-80.

Wampum belt closeup. Tubular white whelk-shell beads and purple quahog clamshell beads, woven in seven rows on a warp of red ochre-stained leather thongs.

Fox Tail Moccasins, 2016. Found shoes, Arctic fox tails and fur, capacitors, light-emitting diodes, resistors, glass beads, porcupine quills, rooster feathers, dyed split feathers, tin cones, white heart trade beads, plastic pony beads, satin edge bias, mother-of-pearl buttons, synthetic porcupine hair, cotton thread, rope, metal, wooden shoe lasts. Artist: Barry Ace.


The tour must come to an end, but we've barely scratched the surface. Join me next Wednesday when I share more photos of the exhibit!


  1. How absolutely beautiful, Cathy! I'm so glad you got the chance to go to the Heard. And I love the exquisite way that form and function are combined here. Even the smallest thing is artwork. Can't wait to see more!

    1. I have at least two more posts to share, Margot-- and I certainly didn't take photos of everything!

  2. Fantastic photos and artwork. So glad you and Denis made it to see this exhibit. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  3. Such amazing artwork! I love Girl With Dreams. :D

  4. Wow! Those are some fantastic images. I envy you getting to experience them in person.

  5. Wonderful! I'm already looking forward to the next post you mentioned. I think my favorites were the bandolier bag and the wampum belt, but not by much.

  6. What an impressive collection that is. I really enjoyed browsing over your shoulder this way, and I look forward to the next batch of photos. When it comes to inequity of health care these days, is it do you think, because local facilities are barebones and transportation a problem? Who, I wonder, is responsible for the neglect on solving the problem, whatever it is.

    1. You know as well as I do that when organizations have to make cutbacks, they're going to cut back on the people who have the least because they can't pay as much-- whether they're Black, white, brown... or pink with purple polka dots.

      Unfortunately, capitalism is all about money, instead of doing what's right.

    2. I agree. And this is so true for seniors and people with disabilities. Just read an opinion piece in the NY Times by Ady Barkan's spouse. He recently died of ALS. She says they needed carers 24/7 and all sorts of help, and it would have cost half a million a year if they hadn't had a flexible insurance company and financial help Or he would have had to end up in a nursing home or they would have had to deplete all of their income to get Medicaid. Awful scensario for so many people.


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