Category Archives: winnipeg art gallery

10 Things About Kent Monkman’s The Scream

The painting The Scream has been all over social media since the recent discovery of a mass grave at a former residential school site in Kamloops. Unfortunately, the Canadian artist Kent Monkman is often not credited in these postings for his stirring and graphic portrayal of children being torn away from their families and taken to residential school.

As a tour guide, I had the privilege of introducing The Scream to hundreds of visitors who viewed the painting when it was on exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2019-2020. Although the images in the artwork speak volumes on their own, people were interested in learning more about the painting.

Did you know that………

Children at the Brandon Residential School

1. The artwork is dedicated to Kent Monkman’s grandmother Elizabeth Monkman who was a survivor of the Brandon Residential School in Manitoba. The first time she spoke about her experience at the school was on her deathbed.

Kent Monkman – Photo by Samuel Engelking- from the Kent Monkman Studio Facebook page

2. The artist who created The Scream Kent Monkman spent the early years of his childhood on the Shamattawa First Nation in northern Manitoba where his parents were Christian missionaries. His father Everet Monkman was a member of the Fisher River First Nation and his mother Rilla Unger was of Anglo-Irish descent. The family moved to Winnipeg when Kent was six. He lived in River Heights and he went to school there graduating from Kelvin High School. He took art classes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens- 1611

3. One of Monkman’s inspirations for The Scream was an artwork from the 17th century by Peter Paul Rubens called Massacre of the Innocents. It depicts a Biblical story where King Herod slaughters all the baby boys in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus.

Photo from the Smithsonian Institute Website – Girls sewing at the St. Bernard Residential School in Grouard Alberta between 1925 and 1935 Monkman included artefacts from this residential school in his display of The Scream at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

4. In his notes about The Scream Monkman says the painting tells us in a visual way what was found in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. Monkman says that report enlightened many Canadians who didn’t know about the devastation wrought by residential schools. Thousands of children never returned home because they were dead or missing. Thousands were sexually and physically abused, some starved, most forced into free labour and some used in medical experiments. Children were required to sever their ties with their language and culture during their time in the schools. 

Edvard Munch The Scream 1893

5. The title of Monkman’s The Scream alludes to an iconic painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

This photograph of Kent Monkman at work on a painting was taken by Aaron Wynia and is from an essay written by Jami Powell and published on the Art Canada Institute website.

6. Monkman created The Scream by bringing actors into his studio in Toronto who dressed up in costumes and acted out the scenes we see in painting. Thousands of photographs were taken and then some were selected, edited and cropped and finally projected onto a canvas where their silhouettes were traced and then painstakingly filled in with layer after layer of colour. You can learn more about Monkman’s process here.

Detail from Kent Monkman’s painting The Scream

7. One art critic says the face of the woman at the heart of The Scream

Dorthea Lange’s Migrant Mother -1936

is reminiscent of the face of the woman in Dorthea Lange’s famous photograph Migrant Mother.

Do you see the children trying to run away in the top right hand corner of the painting?

8. There are hundreds of details in The Scream that careful study can reveal. Almost every time I took a group of gallery visitors to see the painting someone would find something new or come up with a new idea of why something had been included in the painting.

9. The actual painting The Scream is 7 feet by 11 feet. It was purchased by the Denver Art Museum in 2017.

The Scoop 2018 by Kent Monkman from the Kent Monkman Studio Facebook page

10. Kent Monkman has done a painting related to The Scream called The Scoop.   The Sixties Scoop is a name given to the practice in Canada from the 1950s to 1980s  of taking, or “scooping up”, Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster or adoptive homes. 

It is understandable why Kent Monkman’s The Scream has become the signature image for illustrating the tragic truth uncovered at the residential school in Kamloops. I just wish people knew more about the artist and had more information about his moving and thought-provoking masterpiece.

Other posts……….

He’s From Winnipeg

Starvation by Kent Monkman

Incarceration by Kent Monkman

A Different Kind of Nativity Scene

Memorable Final Day


Filed under Art, Canada, History, winnipeg art gallery

Locked Away

I read the heartbreaking news about all those little bodies found in a mass grave on the grounds of the residential school in Kamloops just before I read the second of two revealing articles in the Winnipeg Free Press about conditions at the Stoney Mountain Federal Penitentiary. And it made me think about how we started locking away Indigenous people over a hundred and fifty years ago and how we still do that.

The Dakota Boat by W. Frank Lynn shows Indigenous people observing the arrival of a boat carrying immigrants at the Upper Fort Garry site in Winnipegphotographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

We took away the land Indigenous people lived on and locked them away on reservations. Most couldn’t leave without a pass from the Indian agent in charge of their reserve. They needed a pass to visit their children in residential school, take things to sell at local markets or attend cultural celebrations on other reserves.

Reserves were often located on less favourable land where it was hard to farm or make a living. Canadian laws made it difficult for residents to hunt and fish. Today there is often not enough land on reserves for people to have adequate housing and since many reserves are isolated some don’t have basic services like clean water or good education and employment opportunities

The Scream by Kent Monkman shows children being forcibly taken to residential school. – photographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

We locked Indigenous children away in residential schools taking them forcibly, if necessary, from their parents when they were as young as four years old and keeping them till they were sixteen. We know now that residential schools were places where children often lacked nutritious diets, were separated from their siblings, were forbidden to speak their Indigenous languages, were subject to harsh punishment and sexual assault, exposed to contagious diseases, received inadequate medical care, did unpaid labour in unsafe work environments and had their traditional cultural practices vilified. Families today still suffer from the long term impact of residential schools the last of which shuttered its doors in 1996.

Reincarceration by Kent Monkman is a painting of the Stoney Mountain Federal Penitentiary and illustrates its impact on Indigenous Manitobans. Photographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

And we are still locking Indigenous people away in our prisons. Here in Manitoba, 75% of the people incarcerated in our correctional facilities are Indigenous even though they only represent 15% of our population. And as the Free Press article pointed out the conditions in which they live in the Stoney Mountain Federal Penitentiary are far from humane. In the last four years, there have been 23 inmate deaths there caused by suicide, drug overdose, gang violence and “apparent” natural causes. Half of the inmates contracted COVID-19.

The building is old without many of the modern features that would make for greater safety and there aren’t adequate medical and mental health resources for inmates. Many are housed in century-old cells that prison reformer Agnes Macphail claimed at the time they were constructed were already dangerous and unfit for human habitation.

How do we make retribution for how we have locked away Indigenous people in the past? How do we change things so the practice doesn’t continue? I think we need to ask Indigenous Canadians to tell us how we do that and then we need to listen to what they say.

Other posts………..

The Scream


The Dakota Boat


Filed under Canada, History, winnipeg art gallery

When is an Inuksuk Not an Inuksuk?

This marvellous 1989 sculpture on the rooftop of the Winnipeg Art Gallery by Manasie Akpaliapik is called Inuksuk. But I learned after I had worked at the art gallery for a couple of years that it actually wasn’t an inuksuk at all. It was an inunnguaq. What’s the difference?

Inuksuks on Foxe Peninsula- Baffin Island- photo by Ansgar Walk

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia inuksuit (the plural for inuksuk) also sometimes called Inukshuks have been found at sites that date from as long ago as 2400 BC. They are formations of rocks used by people across the Arctic as markers for all kinds of purposes- navigational routes, good kayak landing spots, good hunting and fishing sites, locations of celebrations and caches of meat. These markers can be in many different formations. 

Inunnguaq on the other hand are shaped like human beings and can venerate a person, mark a spot for people to meet, or have spiritual significance. 

Flag of Nunavut

So this symbol on the flag of the Canadian territory Nunavut is an inuksuk or inukshuk because although it looks somewhat like a human figure it does not have legs.

But in 2010 this symbol chosen for the Olympic Games in Vancouver was really an inunnguaq even though officials and the media regularly referred to it incorrectly as an inuksuk or inukshuk.

Piita Irniq, Inuit cultural activist, inuksuk builder, and former Nunavut commissioner, says it is important to distinguish between inuksuit and inunnguaqs because inunnguaqs have only been built in the last hundred years or so, largely by non-Inuit people, and are not authentic inuksuit.

Inuksuk- a lithograph by Gilbert Hay 1981- photographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

There are inunnguaqs mistakenly called inukshuks or inuksuit all over the world.  

A statue in Hiroshima Japan donated by a variety of Canadian groups as a landmark for peace.

This statue in Hiroshima Japan is called an inukshuk on the plaque at its base although it is clearly an inunnguaq.

A inunnguaq in the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC

So when is an inuksuk not a Inuksuk?

When it’s an inunnguaq !

Other posts………..

Build Your Own

The Amazing Race- Driedger Style

Whalebone Sculptures


Filed under Art, Canada, winnipeg art gallery

Ten Things About Muriel

I’ve heard Muriel Richardson’s name hundreds of times but realized recently I didn’t really know very much about her.

Photo of Muriel Richardson from the Western Pictorial Index
I’ve been employed for eight years at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Our main auditorium is named after Muriel Richardson.

Muriel Richardson Auditorium at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

I’ve repeated Muriel’s name more times than I can count as I’ve directed guests to the auditorium named after her, or shown visitors the artwork in the auditorium’s foyer. But I’d never really stopped to think about who exactly Muriel was, and why the most frequently used room at the art gallery was named after her. So I decided to find out. I discovered that………..

1. Muriel was the first woman to run a large Canadian corporation. She took over the leadership of James Richardson and Sons Ltd. in 1939 following the death of her husband James Armstrong Richardson. She was fifty three years old at the time and continued to run the family company for the next twenty seven years.

2. According to an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail she was a trailblazer, pragmatic and full of common sense. She is credited with defining the essential character of both her family and the corporation.

3. She introduced a company pension plan and group insurance plan during her presidential tenure well before most other Canadian corporations had implemented such benefits for their employees. 

Photo of Muriel Richardson from the Richardson Wealth website

4. She believed that to those to whom much is given, much is also required. In keeping with this principle she established a charitable foundation for the family firm which continues to donate very generous sums each year to worthy causes usually in a discreet way.

5. She was born in Ontario as Annie Muriel Sprague in 1890 and moved to Winnipeg in 1919 after her marriage to James Richardson. According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography she was not only James’ life partner but also his business confidante which meant she was familiar with the complexities of the family business when her husband died.

An artwork showing five generations of the Richardson Family from the Winnipeg First website.

6. Muriel had four children George, James, Kathleen and Agnes. Agnes was the first female chancellor of Queens University. James served as a member of Canada’s Parliament. Kathleen accumulated a lengthy list of awards and honours for her charitable work most notably in support of the arts. George was his mother’s ultimate successor in the family business.

7. Muriel’s grandson Hartley who currently heads the family corporation tells a story about his grandmother’s pivotal decision to take over leadership of the family company. In 1939 just after her husband’s death she was on her way to a meeting to discuss the future of James Richardson and Sons. As she stopped to glance in mirror just outside the meeting room she overheard the men inside discussing how this would no doubt be the end of the company. How could they proceed without a leader? In an instant Muriel decided she would be the new president. She walked into the boardroom and announced her decision.

8. Muriel served on the Queens University board of trustees for nearly thirty years and was the honorary chair of many civic, provincial and national charities. She was the board chair of the Winnipeg Foundation a registered charity established in 1921 dedicated to the social improvement of the city. According to a Winnipeg Art Gallery timeline, in 1967 Muriel purchased the land where the current Winnipeg Art Gallery is located in order to help the building of the new gallery along.

9. In a June 1957 article Macleans magazine dubbed Muriel the shy baroness of brokerage. She was the first woman inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

10. Muriel died on January 8th 1973. She is buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Portrait of Muriel Richardson from a private collection

In the future when I am in the Muriel Richardson Auditorium with Winnipeg Art Gallery guests, I will be sure to take a moment to show them a photo of Muriel and tell them something about the successful and accomplished woman for whom the auditorium is named.

Other posts………

Women Soldiers

Her Worship

As Important As Her Husband




Filed under History, Winnipeg, winnipeg art gallery

Missing the Winnipeg Art Gallery at Christmas

I worked at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for about eight years before the pandemic forced its closing. Many of the pieces of art at the gallery became like old friends to me. I was a tour guide and my knowledge of certain works in our collection was fairly intimate after I had talked about them with literally thousands of people of all ages. Some of the old friends I am missing particularly now during the Christmas season are………..

The Tobit Tapasteries which often hung in the Winnipeg Art Gallery lobby during the Christmas season. The work of a Flemish artist commissioned by King Henry VIII the woven wonders retell the story found in the Book of Tobit an apocryphal Scripture. At one point I knew every detail of the long and intricate and action-packed Tobit narrative as it is illustrated in the tapestries as well as the exciting story about how the tapestries were once stolen from the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  You can learn about that in a post I wrote about the tapestries five years ago called A Magic Fish, Seven Dead Husbands and Thieves That Weren’t That Bright. 

Early Snow by Tom Thompson

This painting by Tom Thompson showing a snowy scene in Ontario was one I often spent a long time looking at with gallery visitors.  I told them the story of Tom Thompson a talented and gifted man who died far too young but is credited with inspiring Canada’s famous Group of Seven artists to consider the joy of painting outdoors and the importance of capturing on canvas the rugged natural wonder of Canada’s stunning scenery. The texture, the colours, the movement and the mood of Early Snow perfectly convey Tom Thompson’s strong feelings about the beauty of Canada’s north in winter.

Adoration of the Magi by Jorg Stocker 

The Magi in this painting by German artist Jorg Stocker are different ages and each represents a different continent- Europe, Asia and Africa. Stocker also shows an earlier scene from the Magi narrative because, in the distance on the road, we see the journey of their entourage as it made its way to visit the Holy Family.

The painting was actually an early kind of advertisement because the people in the painting are dressed in the famous silk and wool products for which the city of Ulm was famous. Ulm was the artist Jorg Stocker’s hometown. The painting often sparked a discussion with my tour participants about how artists have reenvisioned this scene over the centuries to make it meaningful for people living in their time. 

Winter Camp by Mary Yuusipik Singaqti

In the haunting accompanying narrative for this piece by Mary Yuusipik, she describes the hard times she experienced during the 1950s as her family followed the caribou and set up winter camp in the isolated interior of the Back River area of Nunavut. Mary had two young children and miscarried a third as she walked. She buried that child in the snow and kept right on walking. Food was scarce and Mary worried constantly that someone in her family would get tuberculosis.   Artist Mary Yuusipik reminds me of the Mary in the nativity story who also experienced such a hard journey just before giving birth.

Friends Rejoicing by Daphne Odjig

This is absolutely one of my most beloved pieces of art in the WAG collection.  It is by the incredibly talented Daphne Odjig who is sometimes called The Grandmother of Indigenous Art because of the way she mentored and supported young Indigenous artists and inspired them with her energy. Her bright and colourful Friends Rejoicing fairly shouts with happiness.  Everyone is jubilant over the birth of a child. Some people appear to be singing their joy just as angels sang at the birth in Bethlehem. For me, Daphne’s painting sends the message that the birth of every child is a reason for happiness and hope. 

Hopefully, by next Christmas, I will be back at the Winnipeg Art Gallery giving tours, but until then the memory of these marvellous works of art will have to sustain me. 

Other posts………….

And Mary You’ve Seen Hard Times

Picasso’s Grandmother is Canadian

In the Footsteps of Tom Thompson

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Filed under Art, Holidays, winnipeg art gallery

An Inspiration For Our Time

Linda by Elizabeth Wyn Wood- 1932- Winnipeg Art Gallery Collection photo from the Instagram page of Winnipeg Art Gallery director Stephen Borys

Meet Linda. Standing over six and a half feet tall she is an imposing and powerful figure. Her feet are broad and bare but planted firmly apart. Her hands positioned behind her back are large and work-worn. Her hair looks like she may have cut it herself with a razor. Her dress is plain and simple and a slight softening at the waist could suggest she is pregnant although the rest of her body looks sturdy and lean. The lines around her eyes hint of weariness and worry but they stare straight forward. Up close you notice how her jaw juts in a determined way.

Prior to the pandemic, I worked at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as a guide and this was a favourite piece of mine. Linda was created by Canadian artist Elizabeth Wyn Wood in 1932 who said the woman in the sculpture represented the resolve and spirit people had during the Depression of the 1930s.

A photo I took of Linda by Elizabeth Wyn Wood during the Defying Tradition exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2018.

Recently Winnipeg Art Gallery director Stephen Borys featured a photo of Linda on his Instagram page and I thought it was an inspired choice. We are living in a time right now that requires plenty of the resolve and determination that Elizabeth Wyn Wood’s portrait of Linda displays. It reminds us that Canadians survived the Great Depression and emerged from it to build a brighter future for their families. The same outcome is possible as we face our current historic challenge.

Other posts……………..

Talk About Defying Convention

All in the Family

A Memorable Final Day


Filed under Art, COVID-19 Diary, winnipeg art gallery

The Important Thing About Easter

Easter Morning-La Petite Penitente, Brittany- by Mary Riter Hamilton- photographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

The important thing about Easter is it reminds us that life can always begin again. 

It is true that Easter is a time when many families get together to eat traditional food, and laugh about memories from their shared past, and catch up on what is going on in their lives  

But the important thing about Easter is it reminds us that life can always begin again. 

It is true that at Easter children dye eggs in a rainbow of color and wait excitedly for the Easter bunny to come and eat lots of rich chocolate treats

But the important thing about Easter is it reminds us that life can always begin again. 

It is true that Easter is a religious holiday when people of the Christian faith celebrate the inspiring life of Jesus and his tragic death and the story of how he miraculously reappeared to his friends

but the important thing about Easter is it reminds us that life can always begin again. 

It is true that this Easter we will not physically share a meal with our families.  Grandparents won’t be able to hug their grandkids after they find their Easter baskets. People of faith will not be able to meet in their houses of worship

but creation rich with the sight of budding trees and the honking sound of returning geese and the warm embrace of the spring sun will be a sign

that the important thing about Easter is it reminds us that life can always begin again. 

Friends Rejoicing by Daphne Odjig- photographed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

With credit to The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. 

Other posts…………

The Easters of My Childhood

Easter a Time of New Beginnings

Easter Story at the Winnipeg Art Gallery


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Filed under COVID-19 Diary, Holidays, winnipeg art gallery

Dave Makes a Mask And We Make a Movie

So yesterday, in the Globe and Mail, Dr Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer, and my husband’s hero, suggested it might be a good idea to wear a mask when you leave your home. Dr Tam said we shouldn’t use medical masks but make our own masks from things around the house.  Dave got right to work. Using the sleeve of one of his T-shirts and the elastic from an old pair of underwear he quickly fashioned a mask.  Later in the morning, he offered to let me use it when I went to the post office to mail my grandson’s birthday gift. I politely declined.

Monday night when we went for a walk along the river it was still jammed with ice.  Yesterday it was warmer and on our bike ride, we noticed the ice had broken loose and the river was flowing freely.

How can the Canada geese stand that icy water?

The Canada geese are returning in droves and without the usual traffic noise in the downtown area where we live their honking seems exceptionally loud. It is kind of reassuring to see the natural world moving in its usual cycles despite how unusual our current human situation is. 

Someone in our condo building is a budding artist and when we get in the elevator it’s a surprise to see what new artwork they may have posted there. It’s always related to the pandemic in some way.  I thought this one which appeared yesterday was quite clever.

This is our set where we spent more than three hours filming on Monday.  Our church is having online services and we were asked to contribute a Scripture reading and song for the Good Friday service. Since we didn’t think it was safe to meet at the church we decided to record ourselves at home, something that was a bit of a technical challenge for the two of us, but we figured it out. That’s the Scripture taped to the television.  My laptop sat on the pillows.  This set up allowed us to read the assigned verses looking up at the camera rather than down into a Bible. We also had to record a song. Since we lack the technical expertise to edit video we had to do an entire run-through of the Scripture reading and song without making too many mistakes. That was hard! I’m sure we made at least a dozen recordings before we figured out how to film ourselves properly and had a recording without too many errors.  COVID-19 is certainly ramping up my technology skills.  I’ve learned how to change views on Facetime calls and use a Google drive link to send large files.  I can enter a zoom meeting, participate in one, and even host a zoom session. And now I can make video recordings of myself on my computer. 

Giving folks from Siloam Mission a tour at the art gallery

I found out I’d been temporarily laid off from my job as a learning facilitator and tour guide at the Winnipeg Art Gallery this week and it made me sad but  I TOTALLY understand.

Photo of me doing art with children on the Winnipeg Art Gallery site

The gallery has been closed for weeks. Even when it opens again it will probably take a while before education, business and community groups will have the resources, impetus or time to book tours. Their institutions will be focused on beginning the process of recovering from the impact of the pandemic.  Although we have been temporarily laid off we were assured that when things return to some kind of normalcy the gallery will put us back to work. I am glad many staff members can continue to work. On the WAG website you can see the wonderful things they are doing to keep in touch with our members and visitors with a whole variety of interesting activities and information pieces. 

Guiding a group from Winnipeg’s Chinese community at the art gallery. I am in the back row just to the left of Picasso’s portrait. 

I absolutely love my job at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and I will treasure the fact that my last day of work before the gallery closed was such a memorable one.  

Kent Monkman’s The Scream which depicts indigenous children being rounded up and taken away to residential school

In my final months at the gallery, I was able to guide literally hundreds of children, adults and teens through the Kent Monkman exhibit, a groundbreaking collection of work that helped visitors see Canada’s history from an indigenous perspective. It was such an honour.

Doing a music activity with kids at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

I am incredibly grateful to the Winnipeg Art Gallery for giving me the privilege of working there.  I have learned so much. My work there has opened up new writing and speaking opportunities for me.  I have met such wonderful people. I hope to be back before too long. 

Literally thousands of people who work in the fields of art, music, theatre, literature and dance are losing their jobs.  The institutions and organizations they work for will need tremendous support both during and after the pandemic. We will all need to do what we can to continue to support them. 

Other posts………

Siloam Mission at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Spring in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

My Movie Debut


Filed under COVID-19 Diary, winnipeg art gallery

Memorable Final Day

I’ve given my last tours of the amazing Kent Monkman exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It’s still on view till February 23 but I am off on a trip and won’t return till after the exhibit is gone. Taking people through Monkman’s  Shame and Prejudice has been one of the highlights of my eight years of working at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I think between touring groups for my job at the WAG and touring friends, family, acquaintances and people from my church, I have given more than thirty tours of the exhibit. My last day of work was certainly a memorable one for me.On my first tour, I was with a group of students from a rural high school.  They kept noticing details in the work I hadn’t seen before.  I’ll give you one example.  In his Res House installation Monkman addresses the issue of sports teams appropriating indigenous names and symbols by having the father figure wear a Chicago Black Hawks jersey. He has reimagined the hockey’s teams’ insignia using the face of Miss Chief.  Miss Chief is a trickster, two-spirited character who appears in many of  Monkman’s works. But what I had never noticed before was that Miss Chief’s initials were in her black hair.  One of the students pointed out the MC to me and there it was plain as day.  

Then at the end of the tour, an indigenous student approached me and asked to shake my hand.  He told me how much he had liked the tour and how impressed he was with Kent Monkman’s work. He told me he had been in the care of Child and Family Services since he was a baby and had been in dozens of different foster homes. We had a fairly long talk about some of his experiences, some of his hopes for the future, and how he had learned to become an advocate for himself.  It was such a valuable and important learning experience for me. 

I was sorry to have to break off our conversation because I had another tour waiting this time a group of government employees.  They were very engaged and appreciative and they filled me in on some additional information about the various pieces of art. For example, in the painting Luncheon in the Grass or  Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, which Kent says in a CBC interview addresses the issue of violence against indigenous women, one of my tour participants spotted the clerical collar on the dashboard of the expensive car in the painting. It also features a licence plate with a symbol of the early Christian church and rosary beads wrapped around the mirror. I had never noticed the clerical collar before.

One man on that same tour was very inspired by the story of how as an elementary school student in Winnipeg, Kent Monkman had been part of a program that sponsored children to take art lessons at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  The gentleman wanted to know more about similar current programs.  I had to cut off that interesting conversation because another tour awaited me. 

My third group of the day were university students.  We started in the room with Kent’s riveting and disturbing painting The Scream about children being forcibly taken from their families to attend residential schools.  Several of the young women in the group were in tears as we discussed the artwork, one indigenous student was weeping openly.  I stopped for a moment so she could collect herself before we went on to the next area of the exhibit.  This group had so many great comments, observations and insights.  

Another memorable thing about the day was that a warm and wonderful art teacher from Japan who is doing a study term in Canada and has been serving as an intern at the Winnipeg Art Gallery for many months now was shadowing me on my tours to prepare for giving a tour of the Kent Monkman exhibit in the Japanese language to some of her fellow students from Japan.  She drew a sketch of me during one of the tours.  

My feet were sore but my heart was full after giving three back to back tours of Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice A Story of Resilience.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my experience with the groundbreaking exhibit.   

Other posts………

A Different Kind of Nativity Scene

The Scream


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Filed under Art, winnipeg art gallery

Books and Brushes – Please Join Me!

If you’ve been at McNally Robinson Booksellers recently you will have seen this attractive display of Margaret Atwood’s books. The display is advertising Books and Brushes a feature we run several times a year at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in cooperation with McNallys. Books and Brushes is a book club and an art gallery tour combined. On February 4th at 11:30 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, we will be discussing Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments which won the 2019 Booker Prize. 
I’ve been reading The Testaments and looking for artwork currently on view at the WAG that might connect with the novel. It hasn’t been hard to find lots of interesting pieces that relate to scenes in the book.

I’ll try to pique your interest in joining us by showing you four of the art pieces we will take a look at.

Afternoon Tea or The Gossips by John Everett Millais- 1889

Esther and Ahasuerus by Melchior Lorck- 1560

Tree Movement by Emily Carr 1937-1938

Delilah by Kent Monkman and Chris Chapman-2017

We will be looking at lots of other art pieces too and of course, having a lively discussion about the novel.  If you’d like to join us you can get all the details and register here.  Hope to see you next week. 

Other posts……………

Esther and Ahasuerus- A Storyboard in a Painting

Emily Carr- Talk About Defying Convention

The Family of Jesus Portrayed in a Controversial Way

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Filed under Art, Books, winnipeg art gallery