From June 8 until October 31, Union Station and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund present ‘We Are Still Here’ with support from TD in the West Wing and Oak Room of Union Station. This exhibition is a mix of new and reworked original pieces by Artist Ambassador Blake Angeconeb. The exhibit features a portrait of Gord Downie titled ‘The Man Who Walks Among The Stars’ which will be gifted to the Downie family.
As part of Amex’s “Always Welcome” campaign, the new physical and digital welcome signage signals the acceptance of all customers, with designs available for display on storefronts, websites and social media.
"To me, always welcome means crafting work that speaks to those who are unrepresented to create a sense of belonging and acceptance,” the Winnipeg-based artist said. “Art is a form of medicine that has brought healing not only for myself, but for Indigenous people, and I’m humbled to be able to share my meaningful ‘Always Welcome’ signage with communities across this land.”
The new designs are part of the global expansion of Amex’s “Artist Series”, first launched in 2021 in the U.S. Partnering with local artists around the world, the collection of complimentary signage is inspired by the phrase “Always Welcome: Proudly Backing Our Community Together” and includes decals, Open/Closed signs and digital images.
The new custom signage is now available at no cost to Amex merchants. Printed designs can be ordered online and digital designs are available for immediate download.
TikTok HQ Mural
When I first fell in love with art it was because of David Choe painting Facebook headquarters. Seeing a POC set the mood for a whole building was inspiring. I think I was partially drawn to it because he has a wild lifestyle and that’s what I wanted at that age. Nonetheless, I watched countless videos of him painting the interior and I told myself I’ll be there some day, but represent Indigenous art. That dream came true. I can’t reveal the work I’ve done yet, but I want to share my experience and send my thanks to everyone who helped this happen.
First of all my partner Danielle H. Morrison for being my main hype person and support, and also for helping paint the mural. Was extra special to have her and our unborn son present during this project. Second I’d like to thank Cash Akoza for the mentorship and knowledge of creating a mural this size. The whole process would not have happened as smoothly without his knowledge. Thank you to my parents for always helping me along the way. Thank you to Nadya Kwandibens for coming to the site and spreading good medicine when needed and capturing the project. Thank you to Zahra and the whole team at TikTok for making this happen. My heart is full to see woodland art displayed at such a scale.
Niigaani Mamaajise, or “It Moves Ahead” Hudson Bay Company Legacy Space
Throughout history and to present day, Indigenous people have relied on movement(s) as a means of survival - moving through, moving above, moving ahead of the means of colonization and assimilation. The Hudson Bay Company played a significant role in the process of colonization, a difficult and uncomfortable reality that Indigenous and settler societies are learning to navigate in the journey to reconciliation. In creating this work, many questions arose - what steps must HBC take in reconciling with Indigenous people? How can art depict the hindered relationship between colonial forces like HBC and the sovereign nations of Indigenous people? What is the role of an Anishinaabe artist in facilitating these hard conversations?
This commission landed on the concepts of beauty, resilience, and truth. Indigenous people are beautiful. Our traditions, our language, our ability to shine brightly give us strength to keep moving. We move ahead while honouring our truth, understanding that the truth is hard to bear. Hard truths that are interwoven and inseparable from the path we walk. We must talk about them.
Niigaani mamaajise means “It moves ahead”, a reminder that reconciliation is an action, never linear, and always in motion.
"Paddling On Both Sides" Collaboration with Buffy Sainte Marie
In this piece ‘Paddling on Both Sides’ by Blake Angeconeb & Buffy Sainte-Marie, Buffy Sainte-Marie sits in a canoe with two Indigenous youth and tells them about elements of sport invented by Indigenous Peoples of this continent.
To move forward on the path toward reconciliation, we need strong paddling on both sides – the learning and acceptance of the true history on one side, and a focus on uplifting Indigenous voices, history, culture, and achievements on the other.
Learn more about the Reconciliation Begins with You video series at www.downiewenjack.ca/reconciliation-begins-with-you. #DoSomething
Google Doodle - June 21, 2022
A Google Doodle celebrating, honouring and recognizing the Great Norval Morrisseau.
A collaboration between Danielle Morrison and myself in partnership with the Estate of Norval Morrisseau.
It's a great honour to pay homage on Indigenous Peoples' Day to Norval in art from. He shattered stereotypes and paved the way for Indigenous Artists like us.
Chi-Miigwech to the family and estate of Norval for their invitation and blessing to create in his light. We are forever in awe of his gifts.
"Moving Forward, Together" Bimbo Canada Legacy Space
As part of a five-year commitment to the Downie Wenjack Fund (DWF), Bimbo Canada has created a Legacy Space to build cultural understanding, connections and a path to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
A mural entitled "Moving Forward, Together" was commissioned for Bimbo's Legacy Space at their head office in Etobicoke as just one action to demonstrate their commitment towards reconciliation and addresses Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 92 – Business and Reconciliation.
Click here to view the video featurette of the Legacy Space.
About the Artist
Blake Angeconeb is an Anishinaabe woodlands artist who hails from Treaty 3 territory. His first venture into art began 6 years ago during a fun painting session with his younger niece, which has since launched him into a full-time career as an artist. Blake’s primary practice involves acrylics and multimedia on canvas, blending the school of woodlands art with pop culture references. Blake is a self-trained painter with a growing collection of small and large scale works who enjoys collaborating with other artists. He is part of the Caribou clan and a proud member of Lac Seul First Nation.
IN THE NEWS
"Joyfully unapologetic - Artist mixes pop culture, Indigenous themes to create his own style of paintings."