'Oh so Iroquois' featured at Gallery

Story:It is a fresh year - well, make that decade - and 2010 is already promising to be an exciting year. With the Olympic Torch making its way through Brandon this Friday, the arrival of every toddler's favourite band,, The Doodlebops, in March and hosting the Memorial Cup in May it is going to be a big year for the Wheat City. That's one thing I absolutely love about entertainment in this city; it is as varied and wonderful as the people who live here. We can get pumped up about a country music festival one minute, a curling event or a musical production the next and perhaps even an art exhibit can pique our interests. It is the latter which holds my curiosity at the moment.

I tend to focus on the music and theatre scene when I am writing about the goings-on in Westman, but I do truly appreciate all forms of art. After taking just one Introduction to Art Methods and Overview class in university I became hooked. Like an addict looking for a next fix I find that every now and again I have a yearning for some visual art in my world. Luckily for me it is about to be satisfied. It has been busy the last few weeks at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba with the members' show and sale combined with the chaos of the holiday season. As a result it has been some time since a new exhibit has been featured at the Main Gallery. That is about to change as Thursday, Jan. 7 will mark the opening of curator Ryan Rice's "Oh So Iroquois."

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"Oh So Iroquois" has received rave reviews from its past showings, most notably when it was featured at the Ottawa Art Gallery. It is an honour to have such a powerful exhibit at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and I am thrilled with the prospect of seeing the diverse styles and mediums of the artists. Rice has combined the talents of many Iroquois artists including: Vince Bomberry, Hannah Claus, Ric Glazer Danay, Katsitsionni Fox, Ellen Gabriel, Jeffrey Gabriel, Louis Hall, Alex Jacobs, G. Peter Jemison, Peter B. Jones, Miriam Jordan with Julian Haladyn, Clifford Maracle, Alan Michelson, Shelley Niro, Melanie Printup Hope, Jolene Rickard, Greg Staats, Bear Thomas, Jeff Thomas, Samuel Thomas, and Marie Watt.

Rice is attempting to combine the traditional and contemporary of Iroquois culture. Rice certainly has the credentials and the ability to do so. He is of Mohawk of Kahnawake, Canada and has spent much of his life as an independent curator. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts and MA in curatorial studies Ryan Rice has trained and travelled across North America. He is also one of the co-founders of "Nation to Nation," a collective of Aboriginal artists. With this wealth of experience and talent it is sure to be a thought provoking and awe inspiring show.

Ryan Rice will be at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba on Wednesday, Jan. 6 for the Curator's Talk at 7:30 p.m. The actual exhibit will open the next evening at 7:30 p.m. with Rice in attendance. Oh So Iroquois will be on display at the Main Gallery from Jan. 7 until Feb. 20.

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