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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (22)     +     OPENINGS (6)     +     DEADLINES (17)     +     CLOSINGS (9)
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Quest Art Upper Gallery presents

From Food to Monument: Northern Retellings

Exhibition Dates: October 26 - November 23
Opening Ceremony led by Tricia Monague: October 26, Huronia Museum 5:30 - 7
Opening Reception & Remarks: Quest Art 7- 9 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, October 27, 11 - 1

Quest Art is proud to present three artists bringing forward personal and political narratives that examine traditional Western ideologies of exploration, expansion and memorialization. Showcasing installations, prints, video works and performative ephemera, Aylan Couchie, Leah Decter and Lisa Myers examine Turtle Island’s colonial history through expanded understandings of monument, offering visual portals into Canada’s legacies of broken treaties, genocide and environmental devastation still often denied.

Upon the recent ruling by the Canada Supreme Court that “Federal ministers drafting legislation do not have a duty to consult Indigenous groups”, Lisa Myer’s series of large serigraphs entitled Train Tracks from Sault Ste Marie to Espanola, remind us of how long our government officials have and continue to disregard existing land treaties and the environmental wellbeing of such lands. Representing the CPR tracks that once ran along the north shore of Lake Huron between Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury Ontario, we are able to sense the monumentality of their reach and for the impact they had on the lands they cut through by the vast blank spaces that surround them. Myers reveals,

This image of the train line comes from thinking through how to continue the transmission of my Grandfather’s story of running away from residential school along the train tracks and surviving on blueberries. […] I’ve titled these works under the term “Blueprints” as in the stories told to us by our families and the things we witness are the blueprints for our lives, and they inform how we locate ourselves and retain a sense of belonging.

Only two months after Ontario’s new Premier Doug Ford “offered to give a new home to the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald removed from Victoria’s city hall […]as part of the reconciliation process with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations”, it is clear that Leah Decter’s material ephemera from memoration #2: constituent parts, created for Erin Sutherland’s 2015 performance series Talkin Back to Johnny Mac, communicates across time and geography. Decter shares,

memoration #2: constituent parts… alludes to the ways Macdonald’s policies, as foundational expressions of settler colonialism, are sutured into the fabric of everyday life and consciousness in contemporary mainstream Canadian society. By intervening in sites, celebrations, stories and symbols that are haunted by colonial legacies and erasures, … I was interested in confronting the… amnesic forces that underpin historical and ongoing colonial nation-building … in order to consider non-colonial ways of being-in-relation.

Aylan Couchie examines North America’s colonial and imperialist public art from an Indigenous perspective declaring that “throughout history, monuments have been erected to act as reminders of sites, events and people. In Canada many of these commemorative markers reflect one side of history and further Indigenous erasure.” Materially symbolic of how First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have been treated through history; easily displaced and disposable, Couchie’s photographic postcards cleverly capture how many tourist destinations are sites once inhabited and first settled by Indigenous peoples. Upon researching the buried histories of these sites, Couchie provides missing truths about sites, events and people for all senders and receivers to read. Equally powerful is how these postcards require the audience to take up a new method of looking, listening and reading. As we flip and rotate them to read their texts, they suggest we must always ask what we can’t see.


Join Quest Art for one or all of the Food to Monument programs.

Project Gallery: Call to Action #83 Artist Collective

Atrium Gallery: Rethinking Land

Huronia Museum: Rekindling Voices

Saturday, October 27, 1 - 3 pm: Calls to Action Reading Circle with Jeff Monague

​November 3 – 27: Indigenous Film Series

Sunday, November 4, 1 - 4 pm Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress a performance by Michael Farnan

Saturday, November 10, 10 - 4 Oral Histories Wikipedia Edit-a-thon with Aylan Couchie

Saturday, November 17, 10 - 4 pm Sacred Pipe Storytelling & Stone Carving with Suzanne Smoke

Sunday, November 18, 2 - 4 pm: Three Sisters Family Outing to Huronia Museum ​

Saturday, November 24, 2018, 10 - 4 pm: Each Portion Workshop with Lisa Myers

Currently living in Toronto, Aylan Couchie is an Anishinaabekwe artist and writer hailing from Nipissing First Nation. A NSCAD alumna, Aylan received her MFA at OCAD while focusing on reconciliation and its relationship to monument and public art. The recipient of the “Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture” award through the International Sculpture Centre and a Premier’s Award through Ontario Colleges, her work has shown internationally. Public art installations can be found in the City of Barrie and Halifax International Airport.

Based in Winnipeg; Treaty 1, Leah Decter is a white settler inter-media artist and scholar who holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queens and an MFA in New Media from Transart Institute. Decter has exhibited, presented and screened her work widely in Canada, and internationally in the US, UK, Germany, Malta, Australia, Netherlands and India. Her artwork has been featured in The Journal of Canadian Art History, Craft and Design in Canada, Fuse Magazine and Border Crossing. Recent writing has been published in the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies and Canadian Theatre Review.

Based in Port Severn and Toronto, Lisa Myers, curator and artist, has a MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Art Gallery of Peterborough and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her writing has been published in exhibition publications in addition to Senses and Society, C Magazine and FUSE Magazine. A member of Beausoleil First Nation, Myers is an Assistant Lecturer at York University.

Jill Price, MFA’17, OT’07, Curator
Quest Art School + Gallery
333 King street, Midland, Ontario, L4R 3M7
705-526-2787 (ARTS),






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