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Born Celestial art exhibition explores storytelling processes to centre Indigenous ways of being and knowing.

10 June 2022 - 13 August 2022

Born Celestial
June 10-August 13
Opening Reception June 23 from 7:00-9:00 PM

Now on view in our Cannon Gallery; the newest exhibition by the Hamilton Artists Inc. Indigenous Curator-in-Residence Alex Jacobs-Blum. Born Celestial is an exhibition which meditates on the origins of stories and the stories of origins. The artists featured in this exhibition, Kaya Joan, Natalie King, Nicole Neidhardt, Celeste Pedri-Spade each explore the process of storytelling through their works and through a variety of mediums. By deploying video, painting, garment, and text, each of these artists prioritize and center Indigenous ways of being and knowing.

From the Curator:

"By using storytelling to collapse the future into the present, Born Celestial imagines unearthed futures beyond settler colonialism where Indigenous knowledge systems thrive. Born Celestial embodies futurities, drawing from human and other-than-human relations, community and familial knowledge, star systems, and Creation stories. Empowering a (re)connection to self and an uplifting of community, Born Celestial inspires healing and hopeful pathways for the seven generations to come."

In addition to the exhibition, there will be two special in-person events. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, June 23, 2022 from 7:00 - 9:00pm. An event featuring performances by Danielle Boissoneau and Chyler Sewell will take place on Wednesday, July 20. To learn more about the exhibition, please click through to our Born Celestial Exhibition Page.

Kaya Joan is a multi-disciplinary Afro-Indigenous artist, born, raised and living in T’karonto, Dish with One Spoon treaty territory. Kaya’s work focuses on exploring relationships and responsibility to place and storytelling. Black and Indigenous futurisms and speculative fiction are themes central to Kaya’s practice, as they map towards futures of abundance and joy for their kin. Kaya has been working in community arts for 7 years as a facilitator and artist, and is a member of Milkweed Collective.

Natalie King is a queer interdisciplinary Anishinaabe (Algonquin) artist, facilitator, and member of Timiskaming First Nation. King’s arts practice ranges from video, painting, sculpture, and installation as well as community engagement, curation, and arts administration. Often involving portrayals of queer femmes, King’s works are about embracing the ambiguity and multiplicities of identity within the Anishinaabe queer femme experience(s). King’s practice operates from a firmly critical, anti-colonial, non-oppressive, and future-bound perspective, reclaiming the realities of lived lives through frameworks of desire and survivance.

Nicole Neidhardt is Diné (Navajo) of Kiiyaa’áanii Clan on her mother’s side, a blend of European ancestry on her father’s side and is currently based in Santa Fe, NM. She received her MFA from OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario, and a bachelor of fine arts with a business minor from the University of Victoria. Nicole’s Diné identity is the heart of her practice which encompasses Indigenous Futurisms, Diné Storytelling, and Diné Aesthetics. Her multi-disciplinary practice explores installation, land-based practices, hand-poke tattooing, illustration, and community-centered murals. She is committed to using her arts practice to center and uplift Indigenous worldviews and voices in order to contribute to strong and vibrant Indigenous futures.

Celeste Pedri-Spade, PhD, is an Ojibwe visual anthropologist and practicing artists from Northwestern Ontario (Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation). Her primary research interest is in the role of Ojibwe (Anishinabe) visual/ material culture in decolonial praxis, namely the restorative and regenerative works within Ojibwe communities that privileges the lived experiences of women and children. Dr. Pedri-Spade presently holds a tenured position as an Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies at Queen’s University, where she holds the title of Queen’s National School in Indigenous Studies.

Alex Jacobs-Blum, is a Lower Cayuga of Six Nations of the Grand River, and German artist and curator based in Ohron:wakon (Hamilton, ON). Her dichotomous Hodinöhsö:ni’ and European identity raise questions of belonging and relationship to land. Finding a unified sense of identity motivates her investigation for (re)learning and reclaiming Indigeneity. She focuses on the territories that have sustained her family for generations and engages knowledge carried by her ancestors. Alex’s practice operates from a lens of love, care and intergenerational healing, while challenging colonial structures.

Alex received a Bachelor of Photography at Sheridan College in 2015, where she was awarded the Canon Award of Excellence for Narrative Photography for her thesis. Since then, Alex’s artistic work has exhibited at the University of Ottawa, Centre[3] for Artistic + Social Practice, Hamilton Artists Inc., and the Critical Distance Centre for Curators. She is currently the Indigenous Curatorial Resident at Hamilton Artist Inc.


10 June 2022
13 August 2022
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