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2023 School of Art Gallery 'Kiskithihta Mīthokwesowin / Discovering our Gifts' Programming Exhibition

Seeing in a Good Way: A Summer Program for Young Indigenous Artists

Minaw-pishi-mowin / Seeing in a Good Way is an exciting initiative by the School of Art Gallery that offers a summer program designed to instill confidence and foster creativity in young Indigenous artists. Despite the increasing visibility and support for Indigenous art, many Indigenous youth still face significant barriers that hinder their ability to recognize and develop their artistic potential. This program aims to break down these barriers and create an environment where young artists can thrive.

This year, the program focuses on celebrating the creative process through workshops that encourage participants to explore their interests, strengths, and vision. By engaging in various artistic mediums and processes, the participants will learn not only about art but also about themselves. The initiative underscores the belief that art is a gift for both the present and future generations.

In partnership with Willow Tree Action Therapy, Seeing in a Good Way will invite Indigenous youth involved in action therapy programs to delve into Indigenous ways of seeing and being through art. The program is led by professional Indigenous artists Jaime Black, Jessie Jannuska, Claire Johnston, and Peatr Thomas, and has been developed in close consultation with Elders.

Program Launch:

Opening Celebration: Indigenous-Led Birding Walk and Build-a-Bird Workshop

Seeing in a Good Way will kick off with a public celebration on Thursday, June 27, from 5:00 to 8:30 PM at the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba. The event is free and open to all, offering a range of activities that highlight the intersection of nature and art.

The evening will begin with an Indigenous-led birding walk organized by the University of Manitoba Indigenous Birding Club. This will be followed by a Build-a-Bird art-making workshop led by the School of Art Gallery’s Indigenous Art Education team: Dee Barsy, Rosie Beck, and Jory Thomas. Participants will have the chance to learn about birds’ unique vision and reflect on how these qualities resonate with their own creative processes.

Schedule of the Opening Event:

  • 5:00-5:45 PM: Birding Walk
  • 5:45-6:30 PM: Prairie Wildlife / Wildlife Haven Presentation
  • 6:30-7:00 PM: Dinner and Build-a-Bird Introduction
  • 7:00-8:30 PM: Build-a-Bird Workshop

The summer program will culminate in open studio sessions at the School of Art Gallery on a date to be announced. These sessions will be open to all, providing an opportunity for new and returning students, participants, families, and friends to learn from and collaborate with the young Indigenous artists who took part in the workshop series. These sessions will also allow participants to continue working on their art in a supportive environment, fostering a sense of community and comfort within the School of Art.

Seeing in a Good Way is more than just an art program; it’s a journey of self-discovery and cultural connection. By creating a safe space for artistic expression, the program aims to build courage and self-understanding in young Indigenous artists, helping them to see themselves and their creative potential in a new light.

Learn more about the program:


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