National Billboard Exchange

Hamilton Artists Inc., AKA Artist-run, and PAVED Arts are pleased to announce their National Billboard Exchange partnership.

In 2019-2020, the artist-run centres are collaborating to present three artists’ billboard installations across two cities: Hamilton and Saskatoon. Catherine Blackburn’s work is currently on view on Hamilton Artists Inc.’s external Cannon Project Wall until May 24, 2020. Meghan Price’s work is on view on AKA/PAVED Art’s billboard until August 30, 2019. Janet Wang’s billboard project will be mounted at AKA/PAVED Arts on July 2, 2020.


Catherine Blackburn, Narhî Wasagabiich, 2018. Installation view.

Narhî Wasagabiich
Catherine Blackburn

June 3, 2019 – May 24, 2020

Catherine Blackburn’s photographic installation, Narhî Wasagabiich, celebrates traditional Indigenous garment-making and adorning, practices that express women’s care for their families and communities. Reinventing beadwork techniques she learned from her loved ones, Blackburn uses contemporary plastic Perler beads to create futuristic “new world armours” that empower and protect their wearers.

Blackburn takes stylistic inspiration from diverse First Nations across Canada to pay homage to the matriarchal leaders from these communities. The colourful, intricate armour serves as a powerful reminder of women’s strength and resilience in the face of oppression. Narhî Wasagabiich, meaning “Strong Spirits” in the Stoney Nakoda Îyithka language, is part of a series called New Age Warriors in which Blackburn uses garment-making, beadwork, and photography to envision a future where the voices and contributions of Indigenous women, two-spirited, and non-binary persons are acknowledged and celebrated.

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Meghan Price, New Balance, 2019. Installation view.

New Balance
Meghan Price

July 6 – August 30, 2019

Meghan Price’s New Balance series features pattern and waste plastics in an aggregate of image, material, and structure to link human and geologic time, consumer culture and ecology. Composed of deconstructed, used athletic shoes, these sculptures are made of grimy but still vibrant layers of high-tech textiles, foams, and rubbers. Recalling striations of Earth’s crust, this work specifically references its uppermost layers as they are embedded with environmental pollutants, including textile materials and residues from their manufacturing. The textile industry being the world’s second most ecologically harmful industry, positions the environmental significance of athletic shoes at odds with the aura of fitness with which they are marketed. Substituting stone with shoes and mimicking the patterns of Earth’s layered geological timeline, New Balance signals the disconnect between human pursuits of self-improvement through sport and our physical dependence on ecological health.

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Artist Biographies:

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler whose common themes are often prompted by personal narratives to explore the complexities of memory, history and identity. Her work has been exhibited in notable national group exhibitions, including Worlds on a String: Beads, Journeys, Inspirations (2016); the renowned 2017 Bonavista Biennale; and My Sister, the Contemporary Indigenous Art Biennial (2018). Blackburn has received numerous awards for her work, including a Governor General History Award, the Saskatchewan RBC Emerging Artist Award, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award, and most recently, she has been long-listed for the Sobey Art Award (2019).

Meghan Price has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff); Fiberspace Gallery (Stockholm); AKA Artist-run (Saskatoon); the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (Asheville); the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon); and Blackwood Gallery (Toronto). She has held residencies at the Icelandic Textile Center (Blönduós), the Museum of the Flat Earth (Fogo Island), Artspace (Sydney), the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Lumsden), and the Banff Centre. Price holds a degree in Textile Construction from The Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles (2003) and an MFA from Concordia University (2009). She lives in Toronto and teaches in the textile studios of OCAD University and Sheridan College.

Janet Wang is a visual artist working within a traditional painting practice, integrated with sculptural installation practices and digital media. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia and her Master of Arts in Studio Practice from the University of Leeds in England. Her work explores the construction of identity through the appropriation and disruption of social patterns and familiar gestures. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and is represented through the Art Rental and Sales, operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery. She has been awarded residencies from the Arts Council of England, ArtStarts, the Burnaby Arts Council, and has received awards from the Vancouver Foundation and the BC Arts Council.

About the Galleries:

AKA Artist-run is a non-profit artist-run centre, run by a board of Saskatoon-based artists and cultural workers. AKA creates space for experimentation, artist-led research, and self-determined direction. AKA aims to build connections between artists, local communities, and national and international audiences, posing questions without knowing the answers.

PAVED Arts is a non-profit, artist-run production centre and gallery that exists to advance knowledge and practices in what we call the PAVED Arts; Photography, Audio, Video, Electronic and Digital. In other words, we help artists and independent producers make and exhibit their work.

As an artist-run centre, Hamilton Artists Inc. (The Inc.) empowers artists of all career levels to take risks with their contemporary visual arts practices and present their work in a critical context. Our exhibitions, publications, and special projects offer education and mentorship, facilitate regional and national dialogue, and encourage collaboration, conversation, and critical inquiry. Our programs are free and open to everyone.

Hamilton Artists Inc.:
Accessibility: Fully accessible. Details available here.
Location: 155 James St. N., Hamilton, ON
Contact: Abedar Kamgari, Programming Director | 905.529.3355

AKA Artist-run and PAVED Arts
Accessibility: Fully accessible.
Location: 424 20th St. W., Saskatoon, SK
Contact (AKA Artist-run): Derek Sandbeck, Gallery Coordinator | 306.652.0044
Contact (PAVED Arts): David LaRiviere, Artistic Director | 306.652.5532

Hamilton Artists Inc. gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council, City of Hamilton, Canada Council for the Arts, Incite Foundation for the Arts, and all of its sponsors, donors, and programming partners.