Work of acclaimed Indigenous artist Carl Beam on display at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Carl Beam

City of St. Catharines press release – An exhibition featuring works by an Indigenous artist described as one of the most important artists in Canadian contemporary art history, is on display at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

The community is invited to celebrate the opening of the exhibit featuring works by Carl Beam, the first Indigenous artist to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as contemporary art. The opening reception for “Carl Beam: Us and Everything” is free to attend and takes place Friday, Jan. 11/2019, at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Beam (1943-2005) made Canadian art history when his work was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada in 1986. The exhibition, on display until December in the Joy Williams Lobby on the arts centre’s second floor, includes contemporary mix media works attributed to Beam’s “The Columbus Project” and “The Whale of Our Being” series. It documents a progression in his work from the late 1980s to the early 2000s.

“The City of St. Catharines is excited and proud to be able to exhibit works by celebrated Indigenous artist Carl Beam,” said Kathleen Powell, acting supervisor of Cultural Services. “His work is thought-provoking and provides an opportunity for the local community to engage with his themes relating to the history of indigenous relations in North America and the human connection to the environment. Special thanks to local artist Justus Duntsch for co-curating this exhibit.”

The Jan. 11 reception begins with a panel discussion on Indigenous-settler relations in Niagara, from 5-6 p.m. in the Algoma Lobby on the first floor. Areas of Beam’s work explore relations between Western and Indigenous peoples and tensions that exist in those relationships. The discussion will consider what tensions exist in Niagara and how the community can move forward, in unity, to build better relationships.

The exhibition viewing and remarks follows at 6 p.m. in the Joy Williams Lobby.



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