Public invited to explore Indigenous art and meaning at Rodman Hall

We are all vessels. Our bodies are carriers of knowledge. Our ways of life are ways of knowing.

Rodman Hall Art Centre invites the public to explore Indigenous ways of knowing through art during a special community event Wednesday, March 7.

Held in conjunction with local Indigenous organizations, the day includes a free workshop, live music, exhibit tours and a public talk by Tim Johnson, Artistic Producer of Celebration of Nations and Co-chair of Landscape of Nations: The Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial.

Johnson, who will speak about the meaning and message of Indigenous art, is a former associate director for museum programs at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. He has produced a long list of critically acclaimed exhibits, influential programs, and award-winning books, films and lectures.

Elizabeth Chitty, Rodman Hall’s Interim Grants and Programming Officer, says the art centre regularly shows the work of Indigenous contemporary artists.

“We recognize the important role of a contemporary art museum in addressing Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action concerning language, museums, education and commemoration,” she says.

That includes working with the next generation of Indigenous artists.

Local students from Soaring Eagles Indigenous Elementary and Secondary Schools have been exploring the idea of vessels and what it means to be a carrier of knowledge. Their work, created in response to current Rodman exhibition, Always Vessels, will be featured at Rodman in a show called We Are All Vessels, opening March 7 at 1 p.m.

Visitors are invited to participate in a free drop-in workshop and to experience both exhibitions.

“Indigenous artists have a critical role in telling their stories and showing the way forward,” Chitty says. “All of us benefit from seeing their work.”

The full schedule of events is available on the Rodman Hall website.

We Are All Vessels is presented in partnership with the Niagara Regional Native Centre, Soaring Eagles Indigenous Elementary and Secondary Schools, Niagara Catholic District School Board, District School Board of Niagara, Kakekalanicks/Celebration of Nations and Ignite The Spirit of Education, with support from Associate Professor Peter Vietgen, Faculty of Education, Brock University.

What: We Are All Vessels opening reception and community day

When: Wednesday, March 7 from 1 to 7 p.m.

Where: Rodman Hall Art Centre

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