The first aboriginal artist collective in Canada will open at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Saturday.
The 7: Professional Native Indian Artist Inc. exhibit pays tribute to Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Carl Ray, and Joseph Sanchez, who together formed a innovative artist alliance that stimulated new ways of thinking about contemporary Indigenous people, their lives, and art through the 1970s.
The exhibit brings together 84 works, including recently uncovered masterworks of the period that have not been accessible to the public for many years. The pieces focus on a crucial decade during which the seven artists were active as a group, beginning with their initial meetings in 1970-1971 until their unofficial dissolution in the late 1970s.
“Given their far ranging impact, it is important to honour and recognize the efforts and contributions of these seven artists to the development of First Nations aesthetic production and to the history of Canadian art,” said WAG director and CEO Dr. Stephen Borys “With this in mind, the WAG is offering free gallery admission to youth 18 and younger from May 10-June 30. We want Winnipeg youth to engage the story and aesthetic of these gifted artists.”
The exhibit will run at the WAG until September 1.