Monday, March 31, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Announcement of Arts Bursary and selection of artists' work

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@ National Gallery of Canada
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New education bursary honours Canadian icon

OTTAWA, MEDIA ADVISORY (Marketwire - March 31, 2008)

What: Norval Morrisseau Announcement of Arts Bursary and selection of artists' work
Where: National Gallery of Canada - Great Hall
When: 1 pm, Monday March 31
Who: National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation CEO Roberta Jamieson and National Gallery Curator Greg Hill

To honour the memory of iconic visual artist Norval Morrisseau, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is pleased to announce a new arts bursary.

The Norval Morrisseau Arts Bursary in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded on the basis of artistic merit to an emerging visual artist pursuing the development of his/her career.
The official announcement will be made at the National Gallery of Canada on March 31st in Ottawa at 1 pm in the Great Hall. In recognition of Norval Morrisseau's great contributions to art in Canada, a selection of works from the National Gallery of Canada's collection will be installed in the contemporary galleries until 8 June 2008.

Norval Morrisseau was awarded the 2008 National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

"We are honoured to know Mr. Morrisseau before his passing," said NAAF President and CEO Roberta Jamieson. "We are happy that Mr. Morrisseau was able to be with the other Achievement Award recipients in the gallery of the House of Commons when this recognition was announced in November 2007 and to witness a standing ovation from all members of the House of Commons in honour of the 2008 recipients. He also was able to be present at the reception afterwards hosted by the Speaker of the House."

A member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1970, Norval Morrisseau is the celebrated founder of the Woodland Indian School of Art which revitalized Anishnaabe iconography, traditionally incised on rocks and Midewiwin birch bark scrolls. A self-taught painter, Norval Morrisseau created an innovative visual vocabulary which was initially criticized in the Native community for its disclosure of traditional spiritual knowledge, previously passed down orally. He acquired his knowledge from his grandfather, who taught him about Midewiwin scrolls which provided him with a source of powerful images and meanings.

The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) is a nationally registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to deliver programs that provide the tools necessary for Aboriginal youth to achieve brighter futures. Since 1985 the Foundation has awarded more than $27.3-million in scholarships and bursaries to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across the country in all disciplines, including law, medicine, education, psychology, fine arts, business and computer sciences. Over $3-million was distributed in the last year.

For further information:

Claire Schofield
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
National Gallery of Canada
613-990-7081

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
613-990-6835
bmallet@gallery.ca

Jamie Monastyrski
Communications Director
National Aboriginal Achievemnt Foundation
416-903-4331
jmonastyrski@naaf.ca
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Source: Marketwire

* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: © c. 1990s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

"In Memoriam: Norval Morrisseau"...

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... by Newspaper Cartoon Artist
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Posted in "The Calgary Sun" on December 6th, 2007
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Robert McMichael about Norval Morrisseau

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"I believe that when Canada 'disappears', Morrisseau will remain.
I believe history will note that Norval Morrisseau will be better known than Pablo Picasso. He's more original."
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Robert McMichael (1921 - 2003)
/Canadian art collector and philanthropist/
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Note: In 1955, Robert McMichael and his wife Signe (died July 4, 2007) began collecting Canadian paintings by the Group of Seven and other Canadian artists. The couple established the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario which now contains some 6,000 Canadian works.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

2000 Unique Visitors of NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG since March 3, 2008

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I would like to thank you all for your comments posted on this "NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG". It is proving to be an exciting success as I have always anticipated it would be. The subject is dynamic and evolving to say the least. Allow me again to introduce myself with a name that I have chosen - Spirit Walker.
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The subject of my passion is Norval Morrisseau's art. He is one of the very few living artists who started a completely new art movement: the Woodland or Medicine School of Art, now called the Anishnaabe School of Art, and has been dubbed the Father of Canadian Aboriginal Art. I believe as well as many others do that we are witnessing the rise of a Star in the World of Art with Universal proportions. My extensive knowledge and research along with my personal collection which I have amassed over the years are what I draw my knowledge base from. It seems like almost every day I find a new and fantastical correlation within this man's work. It is never ending. The scope and depth of Morrisseau's visions throughout his lifetime have left an impact on my soul that I cannot describe in words. "Perhaps I should paint as Morrisseau did to express feelings otherwise would not be explicable within my vocabulary?" His Art Work is my passion.
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Challenge keeps all of us going and is the spice of life. Norval Morrisseau has given us plenty to flavour our appetites. He uses tenderness and harsh realities associated with purifying our souls painted as images on canvas. In the end it is our choice to fall or RISE! Norval Morrisseau's works of Art have been challenged on many levels by different people. The issue of authenticity of his works can only be drawn out of secrecy by revealing the necessary knowledge for the seasoned collector and the novice wishing to swim in this Golden Ocean which is before us by exposing that which has been kept secret. The novice needs to know the precious tidbits of information at his or her disposal to make a sound and wise decision on purchasing Woodland Art created by the Master...Norval Morrisseau. I will desiminate whatever knowledge I have in this regard and keep a sensitive eye on any new developments as they will arise. Should I stray, please feel free to comment so as to put me on the right path again. I Thank you.
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This information will of course prove to be invaluable to all collectors now and in the future. I am an authority in my own right. Many people have asked for my opinion and value my judgement which is not backed up by monetary gain but for the truth to be known and recorded for posterity. So let it be written so let it be done. All topics are open for discussion. I thank the Creator for allowing me this venue. Let us not disapoint but release the store house of Spiritual knowledge left to us painted on the canvas of Norval Morrisseau's legacy. This is my Constitution and Manifesto. Let us begin...
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Spirit Walker
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Note: The above writing was posted during Norval Morrisseau's lifetime on November 27, 2007 when I addressed readers of this Blog for the first time /See: "Blog Master's Public Address I"/

Words of Genius XI

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"Why am I alive? To heal you guys who are more screwed up than I am. How can I heal you? With colour. These are the colours you dreamt about one night."
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Norval Morrisseau

* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: © c. 1990s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau (Part II)

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An example of genuine Norval Morrisseau painting from the 1970s
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"Energy Transformation"- acrylic on canvas, approx. 28"x 44", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau /Purchased from reputable Toronto gallery - Private Collection/

The above painting represents energy transformation of the spiritual powers in the presence of the Creator, Mother Earth and shamans (Note: two shaman images could have also represented one shaman in different stages of spiritual development).
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Shamans are protected within spiritual realm and power lines connect the rattles that are represented as arm extensions. Yellow colour is representing protection from the Creator while green colour represents everlasting presence of Mother Earth.
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Shamans are sitting on stones that are considered sacred due to the fact that they had been pushed up to the surface from the heart of Mother Earth. There are seven stones that represent seven teachings of the Ojibway or seven teachings from seven grandfathers: wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth.
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Power circles over shamans' heads and power lines that are connected to them express high level of spiritual powers that are present. Spirits that are emerging from their backs are representing communication with ancestral spirits (curly lines that are coming out of the spirits' mouths represent lines of speech or prophecy lines).
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Cross-hatched lines inside of the shamans' bodies that are placed in the sets of four represent powers that spread evenly in all four cardinal directions (east, south, west and north).
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Red colour represent blood-line of the tribe and their true connection with ancestral spirits.
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White colour is the most sacred and spiritual colour that artist uses and in this painting he painted eye pupils to enhance spiritual powers of his vision.
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Note: There is not any specific way to describe the art of Norval Morrisseau. The text included herein is just one way of experiencing his art. Norval Morrisseau's art can be experienced in so many different ways depending of the subject matter and the knowledge and spiritual inspiration of the viewer.
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See the following images for detailed observation of the above presented genuine piece of art of the Great Norval Morrisseau:
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Click on image to enlarge (back of canvas)

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Please do not hesitate to contact me if any additional explanation is needed. In one of the next postings of: "Understanding Art of Norval Morrisseau" I will pay more attention in describing painting techniques that Norval Morrisseau used throughout his prolific career.
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Meegwetch,
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Spirit Walker
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Q: What does Grey Owl and Copper Thunderbird have in common?

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A: Their biographies written by Armand Garnet Ruffo.

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“I like to read because I’m curious about people and about the world.”
Armand Garnet Ruffo


Armand Garnet Ruffo, Ojibwe poet, was born in the small northern town of Chapleau, Ontario and currently resides in Ottawa, where he teaches Native literature and creative writing at Carleton University. He has previously taught creative writing at both the Banff Centre for the Arts and the En'owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, British Columbia.

A former director of the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture, his work is strongly influenced by his Ojibwe heritage. His first collection of poetry, Opening in the Sky (Theytus Books, 1994; ISBN: 0-919441-55-6), reveals an abiding interest in the complexities of Aboriginal identity in a multicultural society.


His second book, Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney (Coteau Books, 1996; ISBN: 1-55050-109-7), further "raises difficult questions about voice and identity, aboriginal culture, human rights and the environment."

His third collection of poetry, At Geronimo's Grave (Coteau Books, 2001; ISBN: 1-55050-176-3), employs "Geronimo's life as a metaphor for the many abandoned native people on this continent, trapped in the slow-moving vehicle of another culture which is taking them nowhere."

His latest book in progress, Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird, is a creative biography of the renowned Ojibway painter and founder of the Woodland School, Norval Morrisseau - Copper Thunderbird. In addition, he has written plays, stories and essays, which continue to appear in literary periodicals, including Red Ink, Rampike, CVII, and absinthe, and anthologies in both Canada and the United States.

In 2010 Mr. Armand Garnet Ruffo's A Widigo Tale has won an award as the best film at 35th annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, California. In addition, he has written plays, stories and essays, which continue to appear in literary periodicals, including Red Ink, Rampike, CVII, and absinthe, and anthologies in both Canada and the United States.

For more info on Armand Garnet Ruffo follow the links below.


Sources:

"Native Wiki" (Native Wikipedia);
"Armand Garnet Ruffo" (The League of Canadian Poets)
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Words of Genius X

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"It is our Ojibwa tradition to recall our history or obtain our history in an oral manner. It is important for our children and others to benefit through the process of continuing to recall and make history"

Norval Morrisseau
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* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: © c. 1970s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Monday, March 24, 2008

Canada Council Awards $30,000 to Red Lake Woodland Arts Festival: A Tribute to Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland Artists

July 4th-6th, 2008
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Media Release - March 25th, 2008
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RED LAKE, ONTARIO - The Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre and the Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre are delighted to announce that the Canada Council for the Arts has approved a $30,000 grant for the Red Lake Woodland Arts Festival: a Tribute to Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland Artists.
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The festival, to be held July 4 -6th, 2008, is a collaborative endeavour between the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre and local Aboriginal organizations. The first of its kind in Red Lake, the event will bring together Aboriginal artists from across Ontario as well as collectors, curators, dealers, writers, art historians and others.
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The festival will feature a variety of activities that celebrate and promote the Aboriginal culture, including plays, dance performances, art workshops, story-telling, and special exhibitions. Also offered will be guided walking tours where visitors will learn about Norval Morrisseau’s remarkable journey, from the time he arrived in the area in 1959 to work as a gold miner, to when he left in 1973, at the peak of his artistic career.
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The Canada Council funds will be used to pay for the travel and artist fees for Ontario-based visual artists Christi Belcourt, Whitefish Bay; Goyce Kakegamic, Thunder Bay; Gord Fiddler, Elliot Lake; Alice Williams, Curve Lake; Saul Williams, North Caribou Lake, and De-ba-jeh-mu-jig, Wikwemikong, (Manitoulin Island). The artists were selected for the quality and variety of their work; their interest in sharing their knowledge with youth; and their connection to Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland art movement.
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The guest artists will spend the festival weekend conducting art workshops, participating in lectures and panel discussions, and meeting informally with young artists to encourage and guide them in their artistic pursuits. In addition, selected pieces of their art will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Heritage Centre, along with original works by Norval Morrisseau.
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De-ba-jeh-mu-jig, also known as the “Best Medicine Troupe”, is a six member Theatre Group that assists communities in developing infrastructure to support and promote artistic development. The Troupe will conduct workshops on various art forms, as well as stage a play about Norval Morrisseau’s Red Lake years, which will be presented at the Red Lake Legion on July 5th.
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“The Canada Council’s support for the Festival is not just about supporting one event; it is also about contributing to the artistic development of aboriginal youth of the community”, says Michèle Alderton, Director/Curator of the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre.
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In addition to Morrisseau presence, from 1960 to 1980, Red Lake was home to a number of Canada’s best known and most successful Aboriginal artists. Inspired by Morrisseau and supported by the Triple K Cooperative, a local aboriginal art cooperative, they created pieces that continue to be exhibited in prominent Canadian art galleries and museums. These early pieces are also in high demand by private collectors from around the world.
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A number of aboriginal youth living in Red Lake today are the direct descendants of these artists, and some also show artistic promise. However, since the closure of the Triple K Cooperative 28 years ago, too few new Aboriginal artists have emerged from the area. Nurturing the creative development of this new generation of Woodland Artists is the vision and mandate of the festival.
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For more information, please contact:
Michele Alderton
Director/CuratorRed Lake Regional Heritage Centre
(807) 727-3006
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* The painting in this posting: "Untitled" (Thunderbird), "30"x62", © c. 1960 Norval Morrisseau /Collection of the Red Lake Museum/

Words of Genius IX

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"I paint with these colours to heal, my paintings honour the Anishnaabe ancestors who have roamed the Great Lakes for centuries upon centuries."

Norval Morrisseau

* The painting in this posting: "Shaman with Rattle", 48"x36", © 1989 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Illustrations I

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Bruce Cockburn's "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws" (1979/2002) album/CD

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* The image in this posting is painting of Norval Morrisseau that was used as a cover illustration for Bruce Cockburn's "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws" album/CD, © 1979 Norval Morrisseau/Bruce Cockburn

Saturday, March 22, 2008

XV National Aboriginal Achievement Awards on Global Television, tonight at 8pm ET/PT

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Anishnaabe artist and Canadian icon Norval Morrisseau was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Gala presentation held at the Sony Centre in Toronto Friday March 7.

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"Norval Morrisseau's most significant and enduring achievement will be measured over generations as the lasting impact of his greatest ambition - to instill pride - makes itself felt in the art of new artists compelled to create by his masterful paintings."
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Greg A. Hill - Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada
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- The Gala ceremony of the 15th National Aboriginal Achievement Awards will be also broadcasted at 8pm ET/PT on Saturday, April 5 on APTN.
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* The image in this posting Courtesy Nation Media + Design.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Norval Morrisseau on "Digital Drum"

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Click on image to start video...
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NORVAL MORRISSEAU (1931-2007)
"We Are All One in Spirit"
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"Digital Drum is a place for Aboriginal Cultural expression - for example: storytelling, media literacy, community traditions, activism and music.
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One of the main ideas for us was that Digital Drum Tambour digital would engage youth and increase their awareness of each other. Making us all feel youth have a sense of citizenship and pride in their Aboriginal heritage - both online and in the real-world.
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Aboriginal language revitalization is also supported through excerpts from a rich collection of APTN Cultural videos and from a wide variety of independent productions from Aboriginal producers and filmmakers across Canada. We specifically chose excerpts that have different languages to show the richness and diversity of Aboriginal language across Canada.
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Through having Aboriginal language, we hope to link Elders to youth. Building this bond - and creating a vehicle for this relationship - is a strong method to reconnect Aboriginal youth to their culture. It is a way to create respect for Elders - by providing youth the opportunity to dialogue and learn. Perhaps it will allow Elders to create stronger relationships with youth."
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* Note: Most of the photographs of Norval Morrisseau courtesy "Coghlan Art Studio & Gallery", Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

XV National Aboriginal Achievement Awards on Global Television, this Saturday at 8pm ET/PT

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Anishnaabe artist and Canadian icon Norval Morrisseau was posthumously awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s gala presentation held at the Sony Centre in Toronto Friday March 7.


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The Gala ceremony of the 15th National Aboriginal Achievement Awards will be broadcasted at 8pm ET/PT on Saturday, March 22 on Global Television and Saturday, April 5 on APTN.

* A detail of the painting in this posting: "Young Spirit Walker", 36"x24", © 1989 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Prints (Part IV)

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"MY GRANDSON AND THE BIRDS", 13"x20", Limited Edition Serigraph; Edition: 500, © c. 1979 Norval Morrisseau, Published by the "Great Grasslands Graphics Company"
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A member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts1 (R.C.A.) since 1970, Norval Morrisseau is the celebrated founder of the Woodland Indian School of Art (today called the Anishnaabe art), which revitalized Anishnaabe iconography, traditionally incised on rocks and Midewiwin birchbark scrolls. A self-taught painter, Norval Morrisseau created an innovative visual vocabulary which was initially criticized in the Native community for its disclosure of traditional spiritual knowledge, previously passed down orally. He acquired his knowledge from his grandfather, Moses ("Potan") Nanakonagos, who taught him about Midewiwin scrolls which provided him with a source of powerful images and meanings.

In 1962 Morrisseau was the first Aboriginal artist to have work shown in a contemporary art gallery (the Pollock Gallery in Toronto), where his bright, stylized images of Windigos, spirit guides, and animals were so well received that he sold all the paintings at the openning night. His colourful, figurative images delineated with heavy black/blue formlines, were characteristically signed with the Cree syllabic spelling of Copper Thunderbird, the name medicine woman gave him - to overcome the sickness in youth.

Norval Morrisseau completed many commissions during his career, including the mural for the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo '67.

He was presented with the Order of Canada (O.C.) in 1978, and in 1980 honourary doctorates from McGill and McMaster Universities. In 1989 he was invited, as the only Canadian painter, to exibit at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris to mark the bicentennial of the French Revolution. In 1995 he was awarded with the eagle feather (the highest honour awarded by the the Assembly of First Nations). In 1996 he was appointed Grand Shaman of the Ojibway and in 2005 he was elected to the ranks of The Royal Society of Canada2 (R.S.C.).

The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa had in 2006 a major retrospective of his works: "Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist" - the first solo exhibition featuring a First Nations artist in its 126-year history.

Morrisseau, who had been living in Nanaimo, British Columbia, died at General Hospital in Toronto on December 4th, 2007.
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1 - The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts is one of Canada’s most enduring cultural institutions is comprised of members in over twenty visual arts disciplines from across Canada.

2 - The Royal Society of Canada (The Canadian Academy of the Sciences and Humanities) is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scientists and scholars. Its primary objective is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences. The Society consists of approximately 1700 Fellows: men and women from across the country who are selected by their peers for outstanding contributions to the natural and social sciences and in the humanities.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Childlike Simplicity IV

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"The Shaman Artist
Wishes to express to us
Through
The art form
That we are all
Like children
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Our childlike simplicity
With dignity and sweet humility
We view
One environment
and
Remind us of the Pure Spirit
Expressing itself upon ourselves."
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Norval Morrisseau, 1983
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* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: © 1997 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Norval Morrisseau: Art Study at École J B Mitchell School in Winnipeg, MB by Grades 5 & 6 (Part I)

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"Thunderbird" /Author unknown/
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Please visit this interesting website of Winnipeg School Division program: "Literacy Through the Integration of the Arts" where you will find a number of paintings inspired by the art of Norval Morrisseau and painted by the 5th and 6th Graders.
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* Also, at above link you will find a number of art journals compiled by Lidi Kuiper who is the South District Literacy Through the Integration of the Arts Support Teacher.
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© Winnipeg School Division
1577 Wall Street East
Winnipeg, MB
R3E 2S5
Canada
Phone 204-775-0231
Fax 204-772-6464

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Red Lake Woodland Arts Festival: A Tribute to Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland Artists

July 4th-6th, 2008
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Media Release - March 5th, 2008

RED LAKE, ONTARIO - From July 4-6, 2008, Red Lake (pop. 5000) will host the Red Lake Woodland Arts Festival: A Tribute to Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland Artists. The festival will take visitors on a special journey as they discover the untold story of the artist’s life, from 1959 when he arrived in Red Lake to work as a miner, to when he left the area around 1973, the father of seven children and internationally famous as the founder of the Woodland School of Art.

Also honoured will be the members of the Triple K Cooperative, an Aboriginal print shop that operated in Red Lake between 1971 and 1980. Triple K artists included Norval Morrisseau, Goyce Kakegamic, Joshim Kakegamic, Saul Williams, Barry Peters and Paddy Peters. Triple K became the largest and most successful Aboriginal economic development initiative in Northwestern Ontario, providing an infrastructure that resulted in many artists having their work exhibited and acquired by prominent art galleries and museums in Canada and around the world. Also acknowledged during the festival will be Carl Ray, a well-known artist from Sandy Lake who preceded Triple K and is considered a trail-blazer in the Woodland art movement.

The festival will feature a variety of activities and events, including story-telling, guided walking tours, plays, dance performances and art workshops. Also planned is an art fair, an art exhibition, audio-visual presentations and panel discussions. In addition, there will be ample opportunities for young people to meet the guest artists informally.

Organized by the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre, in collaboration with local Aboriginal organizations and artists from across Ontario, the festival will also bring together senior, mid-career and emerging Aboriginal artists, family members, art lovers, collectors, gallery owners, writers, art historians and many others.

For nearly 13 years, Morrisseau lived in small, cramped houses, where he depicted Ojibwa legends on birch bark, plywood, mill paper, canvas, and entire walls. Major international exhibitions were painted in places such as a housing development for Aboriginal families who worked at the Cochenour Mine, as well as on McKenzie Island, in Red Lake, and in McMarmac. In the late 1960s and early 70s Morrisseau also painted in the basement of the P & M What Not Shop in Red Lake and at the old Red Lake Curling Rink. His first sale took place in 1960 at Fergus McDougall’s Store on McKenzie Island.

While many of Morrisseau’s early paintings, as well as those of the Triple K artists, were acquired by prominent national and international cultural institutions, hundreds more were purchased by Red Lake residents where some can still be found, either displayed in public buildings or in private collections.

“I think it will be very exciting for visitors to have the opportunity to experience first-hand the landscape that inspired the Woodland artists, and to meet many of the people who knew them and supported their development”, says Michele Alderton, Director/Curator of the Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre.

Norval Morrisseau passed away on December 4, 2007, at 76, shortly after attending the opening of a major solo exhibition entitled Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist, at the National Museum of the North American Indian in New York City. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the show travelled in Canada and the United States for two years, where it received rave reviews. The Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre contributed to the exhibition by loaning the thunderbird a painting from its collection, for the show, and providing photos and other archival material about the artist’s Red Lake years for the exhibition catalogue.

Norval Morrisseau’s seven children all grew up in Red Lake and except for David who lives in Toronto, they have stayed in Northwestern Ontario. They all plan to attend the festival to represent their father.

The Red Lake Woodland Arts Festival is already generating a great deal of interest across Canada and abroad. To avoid disappointment, interested visitors are strongly advised to make their travel arrangements and book their accommodation as soon as possible. The Heritage Centre is also inviting Aboriginal artists from across Northern Ontario to participate in the Art Fair. Information about the festival, including art fair application packages, a preliminary schedule of events, and a list of available accommodation can be downloaded from the Heritage Centre’s website at www.redlakemuseum.com.

As of March 10th, festival sponsors and partners included the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Power Generation, Linda Lundstrom, Maslak McLeod Gallery, Kinsman Robinson Gallery, the Northern Chiefs Council and the Red Lake Indian Friendship Centre.
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For more information, please contact:
Michele Alderton
Director/Curator
Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre
(807) 727-3006
e-mail: rlhc@goredlake.com
website: www.redlakemuseum.com
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* The painting in this posting: "Untitled" (Thunderbird), "30"x62", © c. 1960 Norval Morrisseau /Collection of the Red Lake Museum/

Friday, March 14, 2008

Astral Celebration of Copper Thunderbird's Birthday - First Year Anniversary, 2008

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"Meegwetch Miskwaabik Animikii!"

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NORVAL MORRISSEAU
14th of March, 1931 - 14th of March, 2008
"We Are All One in Spirit"

* The image in this posting is one of three paintings done by the artist on surface of the "Admiral" refrigerator: "Untitled" [Ancestral Spirits], 28"x26", © c. 1980 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Thursday, March 13, 2008

He was simply a GENIUS!

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NORVAL MORRISSEAU (1931-2007)
"We Are All One in Spirit"


ARTIST WAS FOCUSED ON SPIRITUAL TRUTHS

Three months ago, tributes poured in for one of the most significant artists in Canada in the last century. Possibly no one had a greater influence on art and artists in this country since the Group of Seven than Norval Morrisseau, founder of the Woodland Art style.

Morrisseau used striking primary colours to tell the stories of his Ojibwa culture. When he began, he wondered if it was even right to share the message of the myths of his people, but so keen was he to make real the stories of his youth that he captured traditional tales in dramatic, colourful portraits.

Growing up in a simple working class house with non-distinct room colours (and little art), I found the rich colours of Morrisseau's creation captivating. Had I only known what fame was ahead for him, I would have purchased some of his small originals in the 1970s, and not spent thousands of dollars on weighty theological texts than no one else wants now.

One of the features of Morrisseau's technique, copied by some of his followers, are the lines that connect the various characters in the picture. One of my favourite pieces, "Bird Family", has what appears to be a father bird, mother bird and two smaller birds huddled in a proud, majestic way, lines connecting them all.

Those lines have a vital purpose to the art. They remind the viewer that we are all connected. There is no such thing as complete independence in the world. A significant learning, indeed, one that is emphasized by a people who speak of others in the world as "all my relations."

At a recent art show where I work, children's art was on display.

More than 200 pieces were reduced in a pre-screening to 68 pieces, from which a list of three winners was determined for permanent display in our offices. Each child had been asked to communicate the work of the United Church's fund for the mission and ministry of the church, the mission and service fund, through the theme "Hand in Hand."

All staff got involved in the judging, and for the most part, younger submissions full of bright, bold, primary colours received a lot of attention (and votes).

There is something captivating about basic colours.

The same can be said about basic words. A lengthy address filled with multisyllabic verbiage is not usually a guarantee to move people to insight or to action. That's why when I go to a basketball game, I have never heard from the announcer anything like the following: "At this pivotal moment in tonight's contest, we request that all patrons to this event offer their enthusiastic cheers and rousing support to the home team as the members continue their prodigious efforts toward success in this contest."

Instead, people are roused with the beat of the cheer: "Let's go, Raptors!"

Morrisseau spoke of deeply spiritual truths, and abiding messages captured by the tales of his people. It was important stuff - so important that he told the stories in simple drawings with basic colours.

If Jesus were an artist, and not a prophet-preacher-teacher-healer, he would have painted like Norval Morrisseau, I am sure.

Did Jesus not say somewhere (thought not quoted in the Beatitudes that made the biblical witness) "Blessed are those who paint with primary colours, for they shall know the basic truths that God had taught us: Love God, and love your neighbour as yourself."

Rev. Dr. Bill Steadman - an Executive Minister of Financial Stewardship for The United Church of Canada, and a former minister at St. Andrew's United Church in downtown Sudbury.

Source: The Sudbury Star
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* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: "Red Bird" © c. 1980s Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blog Master's Public Address III

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Hi to all,

Spirit Walker would like to thank you all for your comments posted on this "NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG". It is proving to be an exciting success as he have always anticipated it would be. The subject is dynamic and evolving to say the least. -

Spirit Walker has respected everyone’s right to remain anonymous and he allowed comments to be placed without any interference from his side. Due to the fact that many of the anonymous individuals abused these priviledges he has revoked those rights to persons expressing themselves under the anonymous umbrella and now they have to be a "Registered Bloggers" in order to be heard.

You still have an option of hiding your identity by using a fictious e-mail address(s) at Hotmail, Yahoo or Google and be a part of the "Bloggers' Team". All of the comments will be treated under democratic principles. A consensus will be used to determine if a violation of the above said priviledges have occured and your colleagues will be your judge for revoking your posting. Thus securing the blog master's important unbiased position as the ambasador of truth on these critical issues.
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Because of the screening there will be a lag in time when you post your comment. Due to the fact that Spirit Walker "does have a life" he cannot be available 24/7. Also, Spirit Walker does not necessarily agree with all of the the comments posted herein.

Any comments that Spirit Walker deems inappropriate will be removed from this blog without explanation, prior notice and liability. If you feel a comment is inappropriate please inform the blog Master at spiritwalker2008@gmail.com and he will review the material for possible deletion.
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We all need the truth to be known - "for the truth promotes trust" - is the golden rule that will contribute to the preservation of the legacy of Norval Morrisseau's collosul achievment - who was the greatest Canadian artist of the 20th century!-

* The painting in this posting: "Cycles Moving", 24"x36", © 1984 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Prints (Part III)

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"IMAGES AND MYTHS", 15"x20", 1977 - Limited Edition Serigraph,
© Norval Morrisseau
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Source: Courtesy of Triple K Cooperative Inc.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Prints (Part II)

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"SHAMAN & IMAGE OF A MERMAN", 22"x30", c. 1980s - Limited Edition Serigraph, Edition number not known © Norval Morrisseau
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Source: EA Studios, Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Norval Morrisseau Prints (Part I)

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"FAMILY", 28"x28", 2005 - Limited Edition Serigraph, Edition of 220
© Norval Morrisseau
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Source: "Coghlan Art Studio & Gallery", Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tonight, Norval Morrisseau will posthumously receive the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award for 2008

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© 2006 Bruno Schlumberger/CanWest News Service
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"Norval Morrisseau's most significant and enduring achievement will be measured over generations as the lasting impact of his greatest ambition - to instill pride - makes itself felt in the art of new artists compelled to create by his masterful paintings."
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Greg A. Hill - Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada
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- The Gala ceremony of the 15th National Aboriginal Achievement Awards will be broadcasted at 8pm ET/PT on Saturday, March 22 on Global Television and Saturday, April 5 on APTN.
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* The above photograph of of Norval Morrisseau taken in Otawa in February, 2006 at the opening of the "Norval Morrisseau - Shaman Artist" exhibition. It was the first solo exhibition featuring a First Nations artist in 126-year history of the National Gallery of Canada

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Morrisseau medal on hold pending legal ruling

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SACRED ANIMAL TOTEM, 1975 /Click on image to enlarge/

TORONTO, ON – Canada's most famous aboriginal painter, the late Norval Morrisseau, is being honoured with a lifetime-achievement award tomorrow evening in Toronto.

But don't expect anyone to take the stage at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to receive the trophy and medallion that have been struck in Morrisseau's honour for the 15th annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. While the 13 other honorees or their representatives, including CBC broadcaster Paul Andrew and filmmaker/gallerist Shirley Cheechoo, are scheduled to appear on stage, a legal battle between some of Morrisseau's children and his long-time guardian means that the Ojibwa artist is going to be represented by a film outlining his legacy and featuring tributes from friends, curators and colleagues.

Three and possibly four of Morrisseau's seven children - including a brother and sister from Keewaywin, where Morrisseau is buried alongside his ex-wife - are expected to be among the audience of roughly 2,500 tomorrow, but none has been invited to take the stage. The same goes for Gabor Vadas, Morrisseau's Nanaimo-based guardian and self-described "adopted son" who formed a seemingly unbreakable bond with the Ojibwa artist in the final 20 years before Morrisseau's death, at the age of 76, in Toronto on Dec. 4 from complications related to Parkinson's disease.

According to Jamie Monastyrski, director of communications and media for the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the plan is to "hold the award and the medallion until the courts decide who the rightful heir is [to the Morrisseau estate]."

Last month, Vadas was invited to participate with Morrisseau's children in a teleconference about the awards evening organized by the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. "But he chose not to," foundation chief executive officer Roberta Jamieson said this week. "We did our very best to involve everyone whom we felt had a connection to Norval."

Four of Morrisseau's adult children - Christian, Eugene and David Morrisseau and Victoria Kakegamic - are contesting Morrisseau's will, which, they claim, is in the possession of Vadas and names him "the executor and sole beneficiary of the deceased's estate." In a caveat filed on Dec. 12 in the British Columbia Supreme Court, the four argue that the will should not be granted probate because of what they claim was Morrisseau's "lack of testamentary capacity, lack of approval or knowledge of the contents of the will, the presence of undue influence, non-compliance with statutory requirements" and Vadas's alleged "unfitness ... to act as executor." Late last year, they clashed with Vadas over his intention to have Morrisseau cremated.

Morrisseau was in Ottawa in mid-November with Vadas when the honorees for the aboriginal awards were announced and presented to the House of Commons. He later attended a reception hosted by Speaker of the House Peter Milliken. "We were just thrilled that Norval and Gabe were in Ottawa when that occurred," Jamieson said. -

James Adams
Source: "Globe and Mail"
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* Detailed information about the painting in this posting unknown: "Sacred Animal Totem" , © 1975 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/