Exhibition aims to encourage young First Nation artists

An Ermineskin artist launched a new initiative to support the up-and-coming artists of the Maskwacis.

Ermineskin artist Chris Carlson with one of his paintings being exhibited at the Nipsis Cafe on Friday

Ermineskin artist Chris Carlson with one of his paintings being exhibited at the Nipsis Cafe on Friday

An Ermineskin artist launched a new initiative to support the up-and-coming artists of the Maskwacis bands to allow them to explore, showcase and market their art at a place they could feel at home.

Chris Carlson opened an exhibition called “Fourth Friday” on April 29 at the Nipsis Cafe at the building of the Samson band office displaying his and three other prominet First Nation artists’ drawings with a view to encouraging more young art enthusiasts to come forward with their creative talent.

“Four is fundamental in First Nations culture, you know there are four directions and there are four seasons, among other fundamental elements that are identified with the number four,” said Carlson. “This is why I named this exhibition the Fourth Friday and I will repeat this exhibition four times a year and always the fourth Friday of the month.”

He said his goal was to open a path for the artists of all four bands of Maskwacis community so that they “can prosper” by using the opportunity of an exhibition space four times a year, something he described as “a stepping stone” for them to open to wider world.

One of the prominent artists invited to display his works at the exhibition, Ryan JasonAllen Willert of Siksika Nation, his traditional First Nation name “Heavy Shield”, said he was exhibiting his work to motivate young artists.