Powerful Glow at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

Opening Reception and Performance with Archer Pechawis
Friday 17 June, 7-10 pm
Join us in celebrating the opening of Powerful Glow, an inspiring new group exhibition curated by Lisa Myers.

Powerful Glow

Jordan Bennett, Patricia Deadman, Ursula Johnson, Mike MacDonald, Peter Morin, Luke Parnell, Archer Pechawis, Anne Riley, Fallon Simard, Becca Taylor, Art Wilson and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss

11 June to 18 September 2022

If we think of land and waterways as readable with a range that is fluid and ever changing, living and legible, then we can see how one’s understanding of land grows over long periods of time.

Gathered around the medicine and butterfly artworks by the late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald, this exhibition brings together artists whose works are rooted in and stem from specific plant and land vocabularies that reflect place-based knowledge and nuanced perspectives of medicine.

MacDonald was a documentarian and media artist who also created garden artworks. Through documenting medicine plants for Elders in Gitxsan territory, MacDonald came to consider flora and butterflies as his teachers. Over several years, he planted more than twenty garden artworks across the land known as Canada. Through these plantings he developed a detailed vocabulary of medicinal plants, butterflies, and their diverse ecologies. Medicine takes material form through plants and food, but this exhibition invites you to imagine medicine as care and teaching; as continuance and memory; as mentorship and learning; and to consider that medicine can manifest as courage to defend land and resistance against ongoing colonial state violence.

The conversations exchanged among these artworks create a powerful glow made possible through a commitment to reciprocity, remediation and remembering. Reciprocity evokes the acts of offering and then doing, where remediation contends with the context at hand and is about being from and for. Remembering, whether through one’s body or material archives, can be painful, nourishing, interpretive and reflective ways to access ancestral knowledge.

Reciprocity, remediation, remembering – fluid, ever changing, living.

Opening Reception and Performance: For Mike
Friday 17 June, 7:00 pm
Marking the opening of Powerful Glow, Cree artist Archer Pechawis revisits For Mike, a performance that honours the late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald while acknowledging the tensions and violence of the Kahnesatà:ke resistance of 1990 (the Oka Crisis). This cathartic and reflective performance emphasizes courage to defend land and resistance against ongoing colonial state violence.

A Chrysalis of Being with T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss and Anne Riley
Saturday 18 June, 8:30 pm
McLennan Park, 901 Ottawa Street North, Kitchener
This sunset event at McLennan Park will open a space for participants to experience the sunset together. The rain date for this event is the following evening, Sunday 19 June, at the same time and place.

Curator’s Talk: Lisa Myers
Wednesday 22 June, 7:00 pm
Lisa Myers will speak about key works, themes and threads that weave throughout Powerful Glow as well as the legacy of late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald. This Curator Talk will be presented in a hybrid format – attend in-person at KWAG, or join us virtually via our livestream.

Curator Talks are supported by Momentum Developments and Sorbara Law.

Walk the Talk: Curator Tour
Saturday 25 June, 1:00 pm
KWAG Curator Darryn Doull will lead a tour throughout Powerful Glow, illuminating some of the links, roots and relations that sustain the exhibition.

Walk the Talk Tours are supported by the Gamble Family.

Also on View until 9 October 2022:

Mike MacDonald: Planting one Another

Curated by Lisa Myers
Produced in partnership with the Woodland Cultural Centre

A project with care and coexistence at its core, a twin re-planting of a Medicine and Butterfly garden by the late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald (1941-2006) has been undertaken at two sites within the Haldimand Tract: the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery and the Woodland Cultural Centre, where MacDonald’s garden was first planted.

From Her Perspective: Portraits by Canadian Women Artists

Germaine Arnaktauyok, Rita Briansky, Ghitta Caiserman-Roth, Berthe Des Clayes, Elizabeth M. Eastman, Frances M. Gage, Judy Garfin, Melissa General, Dorothy Knowles, Marion Long, Frances Loring, Laura Muntz Lyall, Meryl McMaster, Shelley Niro, Daphne Odjig, Jessie Oonark, Eleeshushe Parr, Kathleen Daly Pepper, Nancy Pukinnak, Lottie Rood, Louise Scott, Carol Wainio and Esther Warkov

Curated by Senta Ross

Produced by Canadian women artists and spanning over a century, the portraits in this exhibition exist in paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture. As much as a portrait says about its subject, it is also an insight into the artist producing it. Each work bears the spirit of the time and place in which it was created and helps us to understand the woman behind the work.

Funded in part by KWAG’s Women of Influence for Women’s Art.

Free admission to all exhibitions is sponsored by Sun Life Financial.

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
101 Queen Street North
Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7
mail@kwag.on.ca | 519-579-5830

Find us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Tues-Wed 9:30-5, Thu 9:30-9, Fri 9:30-5, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery is an accessible venue with Gold Certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation and certified as dementia friendly through the Blue Umbrella Project®.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Stephanie Vegh
Director of Marketing and Communications
svegh@kwag.on.ca | 519-579-5860 x 218

Images (from top):
Patricia Deadman, Cuento de Dos Jardins, 2009. Suite of 24 b+w photographs printed in colour, mounted on Dibond. 228.6 x 233.7 cm. Collection of the Artist. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

Meryl McMaster (Canadian, b. 1988), Terra Cognitum, 2013. Digital chromogenic print, 91.4cm x 127cm. Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery Collection. Purchased in part through the support of the Elizabeth L. Gordon Art Program, a program of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation, 2019. © Meryl McMaster / courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal. Photo: Meryl McMaster.