Jay Soule: Honest Injun
August 14 – October 11, 2021
Honest Ed’s discount store was a Toronto institution for almost 60 years! Famous for its CHEAP household products and large bright sign at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor St. West. At the time of its closing the iconic hand-painted advertising signs became a hot commodity selling on eBay and other sites for top dollar! Everyone wanted a piece of a Toronto institution to adorn their walls.
That’s how the series of HONEST INJUN posters was born. People love nostalgia and Canadians and Torontonians love art work with anything representing their cities and towns from paintings of streetcars and iconic buildings, streetscapes, trash pandas, etc…
As an Indigenous artist, I’m always looking for ways to engage with the public. This exhibition of work is meant to pull the viewer in with the nostalgia of the old Honest Ed’s hand painted signs aesthetic then punch you in the gut with a fact about indigenous people in Canada. Everything stated on the posters are FACTS!!
The purpose of the work is to create a conversation amongst your friends and family. Do any of these posters bother you? Perhaps you feel it’s untrue? Use your favorite search engine and type in the text of the poster and watch corresponding news articles appear!
Jay Soule (aka Chippewar) is a Toronto-based Indigenous multi-media artist from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg) located twenty minutes south west of London, ON on the bank of the Thames River. Jay creates art under the name Chippewar which represents the hostile relationship that Canada’s native people’s have with the government of the land they have resided in since their creation. Chippewar is also a reminder of the importance of the traditional warrior role that exists in Indigenous cultures across North America that survives into the present day. Jay states, he is “Just an HONEST INJUN blurting out facts that unsettle settlers.” In addition to his art practice, Jay is a clothing designer, professional body piercer and tattoo artist operating his own studio in the Queen West district of Toronto for over a decade.
54 Romeo Street S.
Stratford, ON N5A 4S9
Gallery Hours: noon to 8 PM daily
Admission is Free
519-271-5271 x 222
Gallery Stratford gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Stratford.