KC Adams: Gage’gajiiwaan

Now Online at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba


KC Adams, Birch Bark Technology: Water is Life, 16″ x 20″, digital print, 2020.

Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, MB
Spring 2020, KC Adams, Gage’gajiiwaan – Now Online

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition is now an online presentation of work. Within the current context of a global pandemic, KC Adams’ questions around the environment, justice, and uncertainties of the future have become even more profound. In the exhibition, Adams turns to the traditional technologies of her ancestors to envision a possible future for her communities and the land and waters.

Gage’gajiiwaan: KC Adams
Now Online

Gage’gajiiwaan (Water flowing eternally brings people together), a solo exhibition by Cree-Ojibway artist KC Adams, reflects on the relationships between ancestral knowledge, memory, and the sacredness of water. Using a variety of media, including copper, pottery and “birch bark technology,” the exhibition is a visual reminder of the knowledge bundles (traditional teachings) that are passed onto the next generation of life givers and water protectors.

Mazes of digital circuit boards along swaths of birch bark reveal the dynamic relationship between nature and technology; copper and clay pottery, created using ancestral methods, reflect traditions of caring for water. The exhibition asks: How can traditional ways of being in relation with water guide our relationships to water in the future? Can ancestral knowledge systems inform new technologies of caring for water in Indigenous communities? In the context of limited access to safe drinking water in too many First Nations communities, calling attention to the inherent sacredness of water is critically important.

In this exhibition, KC Adams shares her ongoing personal endeavour to recall lasting pathways of blood memory and transmit knowledge of traditional relationships with water for future generations.

Upcoming Online Talks and Workshops


Photo courtesy of KC Adams

All online talks and workshops will be livestreamed via the AGSM Facebook page.

Hand-building Workshop: How to Make a Smudge Bowl
Thursday, May 7, 2020
2 pm CT | 3 pm ET

KC Adams will lead a hand-building workshop on how to make a smudge bowl.

Ancient Technologies: In Conversation with KC Adams and Kevin Brownlee
Thursday, May 14, 2020
2 pm CT | 3 pm ET

Join us for a conversation between KC Adams and Kevin Brownlee, Curator of Archaeology at the Manitoba Museum. They will discuss pottery-making techniques of early Indigenous peoples and KC Adams will share her ongoing work to learn the ancient technologies of her ancestors.

Protecting Sacred Water: In Conversation with KC Adams and Aimée Craft
Thursday, May 21, 2020
2 pm CT | 3 pm ET

Join us for a conversation between KC Adams and Aimée Craft, Indigenous lawyer, water protector, and Professor at University of Ottawa. They will discuss their work towards decolonizing relationships to water and protecting sacred water.

From the Land and Water: Closing Performance
Thursday, May 28, 2020
2 pm CT | 3 pm ET

Watch the live closing performance of the exhibition Gage’gajiiwaan by KC Adams, an exploration of the relationships between ancestral knowledge, memory and the sacredness of water.

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Artist and Speaker Biographies:

KC Adams
KC Adams (Cree, Ojibway) is a Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a BFA in studio arts. Adams has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and been in three biennales including the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. Adams participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. Her work is in many permanent collections nationally and internationally. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and four trees from Birch Bark Ltd, are in the collection of the Canadian Consulate of Australia, NSW.

Kevin Brownlee
Kevin Brownlee is of Scottish and Cree ancestry and a member of Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation (Norway House). He is the Curator of Archaeology at the Manitoba Museum, a position he has held since 2003. Brownlee obtained his Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba. He has spent his career working with Indigenous communities raising the importance of ancient heritage and archaeology to contemporary communities especially youth. His research focuses on the archaeology of Manitoba’s boreal forest and the emerging field of Indigenous Archaeology.

Aimée Craft
Aimée Craft is an Indigenous lawyer (Anishinaabe-Métis), an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Common law, University of Ottawa. Her expertise is in Anishinaabe and Canadian Aboriginal law. Professor Craft is one of the lead researchers on Water sustainability and Indigenous laws (SSHRC Partnership Grant) and on hydro-impacted communities in Northern Manitoba (SSHRC Partnership Grant). Since 2013, Craft has led research on Anishinaabe water law (SSHRC Partnership Development Grant) and helped organize the Nibi Gathering for water teachings in the Whiteshell.

About the AGSM
The AGSM offers year round exhibitions in our Main and Community galleries featuring artwork from leading local, provincial, and national artists that often addresses the specifics of this place and encourages new understandings of our community. We also produce regular public events and offer a robust art education program offering tours, workshops and classes for children, teens, and adults at all skill levels. As a not-for-profit, registered charitable organization, all of our main public programs are offered free of charge to the public, and our education programs operate on a cost-recovery basis (with 100% funded scholarships for youth facing financial barriers).

The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba also wishes to acknowledge the sustained generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council, and the City of Brandon.

Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
710 Rosser Avenue, Unit 2
Brandon, Manitoba
R7A 0K9


Please note: the AGSM and offices have reduced hours throughout spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check AGSM.ca for updates and more information.