This exhibition includes the first digital animation NFT commissioned by the Gallery.
THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Art Gallery presents two new exhibitions titled “Woodland Pop! which is made up of several artists and myself, Voyageur: In Search of Frances Anne Hopkins by Toronto artist Naomi Harris which both opened June 24.
“POP of the woods!” is a group exhibition that showcases new expressions of the forest art style as well as traditional Aboriginal art. This is also Penelope Smart’s first exhibition in her role as curator at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
This exhibition includes the first digital animation NFT commissioned by the Museum, which can be viewed in 360 degrees.
The piece is called Bakwene Makwa, which translates to Smokey Bear in Ojibwe, and was created by artists Quinn Hopkins and Blake Angecomb.
Hopkins credits spending time with his grandmother near Batchawana Bay and being surrounded by influential forest artists who inspired him to become one himself.
“Recently I found out I was Bear Clan at a ceremony that’s been lost in my family’s history, so it was a really powerful moment for me,” he said.
“So in creating this piece I was drawn to the bear and then thinking about world events that have happened over the past few years, wildfires have kind of ravaged the landscape and I really wanted to create a piece that was kind of talking about it.”
Artist Shelby Gagnon, who painted the Woodland Pop mural titled ‘Matriarchal Flow’, says it depicts the influential women in her life such as her ancestors, grandmothers, mother and sisters, as well as the bond with water.
“The inspiration was the Woodland Pop exhibition which is like looking at Woodland style with Pop, for me it’s like looking at colors, I really like colors that are vibrant and full of life. So it was inspired by that but also looking at the water,” she said.
“That everyone has their own stories and their own lived experiences, that they have their own dreams and visions of how we interpret this life that we live in and I think that’s the beautiful thing about art , is that you can live in the spirit of the artist.”
The summer exhibitions of “Woodland Pop! and “I, Voyageur” from June 24 to September 25 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.