Welcome To Our Gallery Of First Nations, Métis, Inuit (FNMI) Artists
We are so pleased to introduce our FNMI Art Gallery. Participating artists gave their permission for us to display their work here. Most have contacted us through social media, as visitors to our web site, or as participants in our Lecture Series or Orange Shirt Day acknowledgements.
Dianne Brown-Green is an award winning Indigenous artist and graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Dianne’s painting have been exhibited in a variety of galleries and events. A partial list is McMichael Gallery in Klienburg, Heintzman House, Markham, Uxbridge Juried Art Show – Celebration of the Arts, Kingsway Lampton Art Show, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Waddington’s Auction House, Eclips Gallery Deerhurst, Dianne is a long time member of The Whitchurch Stouffville Studio Tour.
Dianne’s work is held in many private and corporate collections across Canada, the United States, Australia, Amsterdam and Toronto’s Bay Street financial district. Honoured to have one of her paintings in the office of Grand Chief Konrad Sioux of the Wendat Nation in Quebec, Dianne is most appreciative of the many supporters and patrons in her local community of Stouffville, Ontario.
Diane has been painting and drawing as long as she can remember, her work is reflective of her indigenous cultural background and is very spiritual. Dianne paints from her inner spirit, trying to convey her visions and interpretations on the canvas she creates to share with others. Dianne’s bold palette and colour selection is intentional and reflective of the images she carries in her mind. Always pleased and happy to speak with others about her art and her Indigenous Culture, Dianne continues to explore images she creates from her experiences in the natural world.
“I love to reflect on a piece and sharing it with people allows me to take them along on my journey, beginning the moment an image is born in my mind, to experience that environment, that special place, that myth, that thought that first captured my imagination”.
“To re-live the creative experience and share that euphoric state of mind, this is what ART is for me”
Phil Jones is a first Nations carver from Garden River First Nation. He has been honing his craft for about 25 years. Phil has carvings all over the world from Japan Australia to South America and United States. Phil does art shows all over Ontario and into Michigan. Phil also has carvings in galleries in Cape Breton Island and Ontario. As part of his journey Phil has taught carving to students in First Nation communities ranging from Coochiching first Nation outside of Fort Francis to Southern Ontario Rama first Nation and in between. As part of his travels Phil has been participating in Language Immersion camps teaching soapstone carving hand drum making and other crafts.
As part of one immersion camp in Sagamok First Nation Phil taught participants how to create bears and eagles. Each person is able to take home a completed sculpture from these sessions which can range from 4-5 hours ending with a final completed sculpture. In teaching sculpting at Sagamok First Nation Phil was approached by the Sagamok first Nation Education Department where he was commissioned to make 50 carved eagles for graduating students. These sculptures will be given to graduates who have graduated from university college grade12. Each eagle had its own life through colour and design. They are similar yet different. This commission took about two months to complete. Along with the eagle carvings. Phil was asked to do the clans as well adding another 14 carvings to be presented to graduates as well.
Phil also works for Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services as an elder in residence bringing the culture to youth and families who are part of Nogdawindamin, where he also brings his crafts in as an activity . Prior to working for Nogdawindamin Phil worked as a liaison in the high school for many years for Garden River First Nation.
Towanna Miller-Johnson is a Mohawk fine artist, raised in New York and then went to pursue her education at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. She returned home to the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake where she continues to do her art. Her media is oil, acrylic, wood burning, carving, and beading. She loves to paint in bright vibrant colours to tell Traditional Iroquois stories. When she’s not painting you can find her beading in one of many styles: flat plains style, peyote stitch and Iroquois raised bead work. She has been beading for forty years now. She is very diverse as an artist and some of her art is functional such as the carved cradle boards and beaded regalia’s.
Title of Above Work: Corona Covid
Description: Mask created during the 2020 Corona Virus Pandemic. Beaded using flat style, peyote stitch and Iroquois raised beadwork. The inside is made of pleather, has holes underneath to breath and beak is open to place medicinal herbs inside. The middle layer is a thick felt. The outside is made of velveteen adorned with Iroquois beaded vines and purple flowers outlined in turquoise blue. The muse of inspiration was a crow which was beaded flat style in the centre of the hat. The brim of the hat is peyote beaded. A pair of sunglasses were used for the tinted round eyes. The mask has three straps to secure to the head with buckles on the side for adjustment. Jingle cone tip.
Artist Statement: I have to admit that I have a dark side. I enjoy horror movies and the paranormal. I wanted my mask to reflect the time. For me, I have always incorporated the past into my work. Long ago they had plague masks with medicinal herbs put inside. To me they always look like birds. The Crow was now my muse. I like the fact that my mask has a darkness to it sprinkled with beauty, just like the time we are now in. Surrounded by so much darkness like death and sickness yet if you look around we do have beauty in our lives such as kindness and generosity.
About the Stitch: The peyote stitch, also known as the gourd stitch, is an off-loom bead weaving technique. Peyote stitch may be worked with either an even or an odd number of beads per row. Both even and odd count peyote pieces can be woven as flat strips, in a flat round shape, or as a tube. Many cultures around the world have used peyote stitch in their beadwork. Examples of peyote stitch have been found in artifacts from Ancient Egypt, and the stitch has also been used in historic and contemporary Native American beadwork.