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Travelling art exhibit at Fort Macleod Library features local artists

The exhibit ‘Aakii isskska’takssin (Woman — thought)’ features the work of southern Alberta photographers Marjie Crop Eared Wolf and Star Crop Eared Wolf.

A pair of southern Alberta Indigenous artists are featured in a travelling exhibit at the Fort Macleod Library.

The work of photographers Star Crop Eared Wolf and Marjie Crop Eared Wolf make up the exhibit Aakii isskska’takssin (Woman — thought).

The exhibit is on loan from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program.

Since the library is close as part of public health restrictions, staff are promoting the exhibit on social media and in Thursday evening window exhibits.

According to a statement from curator Jennifer Bowen, Aakii isskska’takssin examines the theme of story within the context of Blackfoot traditional teachings and cultural expression of artists applied in a contemporary context.

The exhibit ‘Aakii isskska’takssin (Woman — thought)’ is on display at Fort Macleod Library.

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf and Star Crop Eared Wolf are both recent graduates of the Native American Art history and Museum studies program at the University of Lethbridge.

According to Bowen’s curatorial statement, their photographs reflect the way in which Blackfoot oral history and visual culture intersects with contemporary thought.

“Marjie Crop Eared Wolf’s artistic practice challenges academic institutions to legitimize the traditional art practices of Indigenous people,” Bowen wrote. “In this photography series, she disrupts racist graffiti with pictographs she designed and which were inspired by her Blackfoot and Shuswap heritage.”

The graffiti often targets Indigenous people and, Bowen, wrote, perpetuates a visual language of hate.

“These visual landmarks affect everyone who walks through these spaces, expecially young children,” Bowen added.

Star Crop Eared Wolf explores Blackfoot cultural, political and social issues through contemporary photography, Bowen wrote in her curatorial statement.

“In this work of images, Star has used black and white photography to capture the moment of knowledge transfer between mother and daughter, father and son, and elder and community and which are shown through relationships,” Bowen wrote.

“Indigenous teachings are demonstrated and shared through connections of community and family.”

Marjie Crop Eared Wolf was born in Fort Macleod but spent her early childhood with the Shuswap Nation in Kamloops, B.C. and then on the Kainai Nation.

Star Crop Eared Wolf was born in Lethbridge and lives on the Blood Reserve.

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