Grand Opening

Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. Permanent Exhibition

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Featuring work by the Indian Group of Seven

Christian Prophet (1 of 3) - Joseph Sanchez
Christian Prophet (1 of 3) - Joseph Sanchez
Louis Riel

Grand Opening

Friday, April 13th

Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. Permanent Exhibit

Public Details:
Museum Public Tours 12pm - 2:45pm
(every 15 min)
Opening Ceremony in McGrane Theatre 3:00pm
Ribbon Cutting 4:15pm
Media and Dinner Details:
Museum Public Tours 12pm - 2:45pm
Opening Ceremony
in McGrane Theatre
3:00pm
Ribbon Cutting 4:15pm
Media Scrum 4:25pm
VIP Museum Tour 4:50pm
Dinner (Invite Only)
Media Info
5:30pm

About the Indian Group of Seven

“The PNIAI was a ground-breaking cultural and political entity that demanded recognition for its members as professional, contemporary artists. They challenged old constructs and stimulated a new way of thinking about contemporary First Nations people, their lives, and art.” – Michelle LaVallee
Director, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Art Centre

The Indian Group of Seven—a direct reference to the Group of Seven, a collective of Canadian artists in the 1920s and 30s whose focus was the superlative beauty of the Canadian landscape—formed in the early 1970s in an effort to dismantle cultural and political stereotype, as well as Indigenous exclusion by moving contemporary Indigenous art into the mainstream. They saw Indigenous art as an evolving style and expression, informed by experience and modern themes.

Officially known as the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., the group was comprised of ground-breaking Indigenous artists Jackson Beardy (1944–1984), Eddy Cobiness (1933–1996), Alex Janvier (b. 1935), Norval Morrisseau (1932–2007), Daphne Odjig (1919–2016), Carl Ray (1942–1978), and Joseph Sanchez (b. 1948).

“The greatest art that is in Canada today, and that’s the work of native people.” —Joseph Sanchez “The Indian in Transition eventually made it to Ottawa, where its potent colours and flowing shapes interest thousands of eyes each year.” —Meagan Campbell on Daphne Odjig “It has become my deep, personal life goal to create an awareness of our culture within the public at large thereby cementing stronger ties of mutual understanding for one country, one Canada.” —Jackson Beardy “It’s surprising how direct the lines are between these largely geometric shapes and Janvier’s swirls.” —Russell Smith on Alex Janvier “The priest came and told us to stop the berry festival. The priest understands now, but it is too late. The ceremony is gone.” —Carl Ray "Every artist paints from their own cultural heritage and their own experience. Whatever your heritage, it will come out in your brush.” —Daphne Odjig “While in Europe, he toured the galleries to see the works of Master artists. He returned to paint in even more vibrant colours and abstract shapes." —Cedar Hill Long House on Norval Morisseau “Eddy was such a great person. I think his inspiration to me is about that, not just being good in art but being a good human being.” —Joseph Sanchez on Eddy Cobiness

Event Speakers

Alex Janvier
Alex Janvier

Born of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent in 1935, Alex Janvier was raised in the nurturing care of his family until the age of eight. At this age, the young Janvier was uprooted from his home and sent to the Blue Quills Indian Residential School near St. Paul, Alberta.

As a member of the Indian Group of Seven, Janvier is one of the significant pioneering aboriginal artists in Canada and has influenced many generations of aboriginal artists.

In recognition of his success, Alex Janvier recently received three prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, The Tribal Chiefs Institute, and Cold Lake First Nations. Janvier’s passion and natural talents for creative expression remains strong to this day.


Alex Janvier
Joseph Sanchez

Joseph M. Sánchez is an American artist from Trinidad, Colorado, by way of the White Mountain Apache Reservation and Taos Pueblo. A leader in Indigenous and Chicano arts since the 1970s, Joseph has worked with hundreds of artists creating work, developing exhibitions, and advocating for the rights of minority artists, most importantly with the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., also known as the Indian Group of Seven.

Sanchez is also one of the breakout speakers for Power Up North (April 10 and 11th at the Lac La Biche Campus of Portage College), a “Bizness” conference for startups and creative ideas. Sanchez will explore ways to free your creative spirit and find true meaning in your work, freeing yourself from the “isms” of art to find marks and energy that are significant to you and your culture.


Messages from Dignitaries

Commemorative Meuseum Catalogue

Commemorative Museum Catalogue

Portage College’s Commemorative Museum Catalogue will be given to attendees of the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. Permanent Exhibition grand opening dinner.

This beautiful commemorative piece celebrates the 50th anniversary of Portage College, the 40th anniversary of MOAPAA, and the contributions made by all Indigenous artists in Canada—past, present, and future.

This initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Canadian community foundations, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

The intent of this catalogue is to offer a brief introduction to some of these artists and the history that influenced and continues to influence their artwork. This publication also offers an opportunity to showcase a few of the contemporary and historical artworks and artifacts that make up MOAPAA.

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