Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

A new project transforms the National Gallery's Canadian galleries

Ottawa, Canada - June 16, 2003


 « Un nouveau projet transforme les galeries d'art canadien du Musée des beaux-art du Canada »  

The National Gallery of Canada is proud to invite the media to a private tour of Art of this Land, on Thursday, 19 June at 10 a.m., for its preview of a bold and ambitious project incorporating Aboriginal works into the mainstream Canadian Galleries.

For the first time in the National Gallery's history, 100 Aboriginal artworks and artifacts, some dating back thousands of years, will be displayed side-by-side with non-Aboriginal work in this long term exhibition space.

"It's an exciting approach to telling the history of art in Canada", says Greg Hill, one of the curators of Art of this Land. The project, he says, has transformed the Canadian galleries. "It's provided one of the missing pieces", he says, to our ongoing story.

With the input of a team of outside experts, including Aboriginal artists and scholars, 17 Canadian galleries were completely overhauled to make Art of this Land happen.

The results are remarkable: The Aboriginal works which will be on view span 8000 years of history, and include works from the Gallery's own collection, as well as pieces borrowed directly from First Nations and from private and public collections across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Among the objects on display are a red cedar "wild woman" mask by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Ellen Neel, a sea-bear bracelet by Bill Reid, several ancestral pieces, and more recent paintings by Rita Letendre, Robert Houle, and Daphne Odjig.

Media Interviews:
Available upon request immediately following the tour with Curators, Greg Hill or Denise Leclerc.

Celebration: "Let Your Spirit Soar"
On Sunday, 22 June, there will be a celebration to mark the completion of Art of this Land which coincides with National Aboriginal Day weekend.

At 1:30 p.m., Algonquin Elder, William Commanda, from Kitigan Zibi, near Maniwaki, Quebec, will conduct a smudging ceremony in the auditorium.

It will be followed by a lecture by Dr. Gerald McMaster entitled: Notes on an Aboriginal Aesthetic. Dr. McMaster is an artist, writer, curator, and Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources, Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian.

At 3:00 p.m., Pelican Nocturne, a processional dance performance troupe made up of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth, will lead the public from the auditorium and proceed through the Canadian galleries. This is a joint presentation of the Canada Dance Festival, the National Arts Centre and New Dance Horizons.


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Joanne Charette
Director, Public Affairs
tel. (613) 990-5050
fax (613) 990-9824

Anne Tanguay
Senior Media Relations Officer
tel. (613) 990-6835
fax (613) 990-9824