Tukien (Awaken)

Confederation Centre Art Gallery

New solo exhibit by Nelson White—Oct 10 to Jan 13

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The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) in Charlottetown will present a solo exhibition by Nelson White from October 10 to January 13.

Tukien (Awaken): Nelson White features 18 painted portraits of an extended network of Indigenous artists, creatives, and activists who for White represent contemporary cultural leaders, what he calls his “kin.”

St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw artist Nelson White has become something of a local celebrity recently, following news of his artwork being placed on permanent display at the National Museum of the American Indian in the Smithsonian.

Yet even as his work is now being seen internationally, he remains an artist devoted to the familiar, the accessible, and to his extended circle of friends—a group of creative Indigenous artists and workers who are together helping to bring about a cultural renaissance, what White calls “a collective raising of consciousness.”

The title of his new show, Tukien, is a Mi’kmaq word meaning “awaken,” a reference to this collective enterprise of creating a new sense of contemporary Indigenous life. The exhibition, organized by the CCAG and the Grenfell Art Gallery in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, will tour the country and will include a publication in three languages (English, French, Mi’kmaq).

Born on the west coast of Newfoundland (Taqamkuk), in the community of Flat Bay, Nelson White is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He attended the visual arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College, before graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). His paintings are included in many public and private collections across North America.

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