Helen Pelletier: Wiigwas Manidoog Descendants

Helen Pelletier: Wiigwas Manidoog Descendants

June 23 – September 17, 2023
Artist Talk: Thursday, July 13 at 7PM ET online
Thunder Bay Art Gallery

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery presents Wiigwas Manidoog Descendants, the first solo exhibition of works by artist Helen Pelletier. Her etched baskets, objects, garments, and accessories express her relationship with Wiigwas, or birchbark, and reflect the love she feels for the land. In the forest near her home, on the sacred territory of Anemki Wajiw (Thunder Mountain), she carefully harvests birchbark in the summer and early spring. While her art is rooted in Ojibway imagery, teachings, and traditions, she continues to grow her connection with Wiigwas to awaken new designs of wearable art including backpacks, hats, and skirts. Helen often completes her works with home-tanned hide and other natural materials sourced from friends, family, and fellow artists, which deepens each object’s meaning and power.

Helen Pelletier is an Anishinaabe kwe from Fort William First Nation. Helen has worked with Wiigwas for twenty years and recently developed a relationship with winter birchbark and sgraffito style etching. Helen credits her Wiigwas knowledge to family, community, elders, and friends. Helen has exhibited her work in “Their Breath in Beads” (2019) and the Northern Ontario Juried Exhibition in 2019 and 2022 at Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Helen also exhibited her work Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival marketplace in the Northern Ontario Spotlight in 2020.

Please join us in person or online for an artist talk by Helen Pelletier on Thursday, July 13 at 7 PM ET.

Wiigwas Manidoog Descendants runs June 23 – Sept 17 2023 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay, ON.

More about Helen Pelletier:
Instagram @helendawnp

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Thunder Bay Art Gallery
1080 Keewatin Street
Thunder Bay, ON
(807) 577-6427

Image credits:
1. Alyssa Memengwaa Ikwe, 2023, winter birchbark, summer birchbark, copper jingles, copper beads. Home tanned deer hide by Kanina Terry. Worn by Alyssa Lentz. Photo by Chondron Photography.
2. Sabe Road, 2020, birchbark etching. Photo by Chondron Photography.