Upcoming art auction focuses on connection to Mother Earth
- Andréa Ledding | April 18, 2017
Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre brings Indigenous arts to life in many ways — so it is no surprise that Indigenous artists from across the land contribute to an annual art auction to support GTNT and youth in theatre.
“This year all pieces are going to be themed on celebrating our connection to Mother Earth, featuring artists from across Canada and local artists,” explained Osemis Isbister-Bear, GTNT’s general manager. “The visual artists come out and help the performing artists, and raise money for our youth in the Circle of Voices program.”
PotashCorp is a major sponsor of the event, with support from the Sheraton, Saskatoon Media Group, Planet S, Eagle Feather News, Amiskusees Semaganis Worme Family Foundation, and Scoles Fine Arts and Framing. Curator and contributor Ernie Scoles says since he did the first one about ten years ago, the auctions have gotten better each year.
“They’re for the youth, that’s what it’s all about,” Scoles noted, showing some of the art that has come in so far of an expected 20 to 40 pieces: an Alec Syliboy painting from Truro, a Jason Lucas painting from Thompson, works from local artists such as Johnny Marceland and Kevin Peeace and of course one of Ernie’s originals. Other pieces include jewelry from Jeff McDougall and a piece from noted stone carver Irvin Head: a real variety of Indigenous visual art to treasure in home or office. “They’re all originals: no prints.”
The artwork is stunning, and GTNT also puts on an evening of entertainment which includes performing arts. Last year a drum group opened, Indigenous dancers performed to a Buffy St. Marie song, and Krystle Pederson performed an excerpt from The Post Mistress by Tomson Highway.
This year will include live music performances and Aiyanna Glenister will perform a monologue from “Iskotew” written by Circle of Voices alumni and coordinator Jennifer Dawn Bishop.
Bishop notes that the art auction is a major boost to the theatre company because all profits go directly to programming, particularly the Circle of Voices which has been running since 1999.
"This unique program is so important to us and to all of our participants, in continuing to reach out to different youth and exposing them to the arts and culture,” said Bishop. “We want to give them the best possible programming and experience, and what helps us most with that is all our fundraisers and donations — and of course what we make from the auction.”
Bishop describes Circle of Voices as life changing for her and many others along the way.
“I believe in this program, and with the help of the auction, it will only further strengthen what we can do for our programming and our youth.”
The art auction takes place Thursday, April 27th beginning at 6 pm at the Top of the Inn, Sheraton Cavalier. Tickets can be purchased for $100 by contacting the GTNT general office or phoning 306-933-2262.