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Call to Action #83 Press & Reviews

Photo essay from SNAPD Northumberland of the opening at Northumberland Gallery of Art, January 19, 2017:

A new “Call to Action” for a New Year, By Brock Weir, The Auroran, January 4, 2017

From the article: The dawn of a New Year is a dawn of renewal for many people around the world. For Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, renewal is part of an ongoing process and as Canada approaches its 150th anniversary this summer, the time is nigh for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous to renew and heal, according to area artists. Summer is, of course, still many months away, but there is always hope on the horizon explains artist and teacher Mary Louise Meiers. Read more...

Message from Rick Kelly, Restorative and Peacemaking Alternatives Professor, CYW Program, George Brown College

You asked me what I thought after I had read [artist Paul Shilling's poem "Truth & Reconciliation"]. We did not have time to talk. My thoughts..... On the way up to the event today there was someone on the radio who kept talking about "true facts". Somewhat redundant but maybe in this day and age we need to add the facts. Your such a fitting ending to the day's proceedings also captured the cruel irony of two peoples wandering with wounded identities. One people who have had theirs stolen....the other still in search of an authentic one. We need to sit beside each other and listen while each tells their stories. As one of the other artists said....between truth and reconciliation there is healing. Thank you so much....or to the true meaning of Migwetch.

Supporting indigenous people through art, By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network Tuesday, November 29, 2016 7:36:58 EST PM

From the article: Often times, the arts can provide a muchneeded venue to bridge perceived divides and foster healing. That's one of the principles behind a new art installation on display Wednesday at Georgian College's Orillia campus that will later be featured at a Barrie art gallery. Dubbed a Call to Action #83, the display features the work of 16 artists from across Simcoe County who were inspired to initiate an art project that sprang from reflections relating to the federal government's report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The commission, which crisscrossed the country for a number of years, provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools' system an opportunity to share their stories and experiences. Last year, it presented an executive summary of its findings and included 94 calls to action (recommendations) to "further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples." Read more...

"Call to Action #83 art exhibit: the quest for truth and hope", By Barb Nahwegahbow, Anishinawbek News, August 15, 2016

From the article: "A total of 16 artists from Simcoe County took up the quest for truth for the exhibition, Call to Action #83. Eight were Indigenous and eight were non-Indigenous. What they all found is that learning the truth of how Canada has treated Indigenous people in the past and how it continues to treat them is painful." Read more...

"Call to Action #83: Artists inspired by artists", by Barb Nahwegahbow, Windspeaker News, TORONTO, Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

From the article: “Reconciliation is not a spectator sport,” said Mary Louise Meiers at the opening of Call to Action #83, an art exhibit about truth and reconciliation. “No one can delegate their responsibility. It is a 100 per cent dedication of the human individual.” Read more...

Message from Donna Cansfield, former MPP, Etobicoke Centre

Thank you for the invitation to join you for the opening reception of Call to Action #83 to listen to artists speak about their art and to hear from each of them how art has impacted their lives. Through visual art, poetry and stories the artists interpret feelings about such issues as the residential schools. They speak of the impact of art in healing and sharing, of reaching out to the community through their various art forms to continue the process of reconciliation. Their stories are powerful and so is their art.

I have long believed in the healing ability of art, but I also feel that those who have the opportunity to listen to the interpretations and view the art also share what it has to offer. Call to Action #83 definitely reinforced my convictions. I came away extraordinarily impressed by their commitment and the need for all of us to continue to work together.

From Austin and Beverly Clarkson

We were honoured to bear witness as presiding elders during the gestation of Call to Action #83. Last September we attended the sweat lodge ceremony and feast when the artists chose the order in which to create their artworks. During the next nine months we kept in touch with them as they engaged one after the other in the creative process. We were present again in June for the ceremony and feast when the artists came together again and revealed the artworks they had made. They shared their stories, ideas and feelings with honesty and respect for each other and for the community that was taking shape in their midst. It was an overpowering experience of images and words revealing visions of suffering and hope.

The first exhibition of Call to Action #83 is an auspicious unveiling. The artworks hold the gallery space in a powerful embrace as they envision the truth and reconciliation. The many styles, materials and themes expose long-buried wounds and generations of suffering and injustice, feelings of remorse and the possibility of communities in which the earth and the human family are restored to health. As each artist spoke, the space between the artworks resonated with the desire to unearth the truth, to learn what reconciliation calls us to do, and together walk the path to healing. The series is like a circle of dancers outfitted in many different regalias who are learning how to dance together.