New exhibition of ground-breaking First Nations art opens at Gallery

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New exhibition of ground-breaking First Nations art opens at Gallery


7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.

October 11, 2014 to January 4, 2015

: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. is organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery

with support from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

October 8, 2014 – Kelowna, BC:
 A major exhibition that will be shown in only four Canadian cities opens at the Kelowna Art Gallery this Thanksgiving weekend. 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., organized and circulated by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, features over sixty works of art by seven artists that will be on view to Kelowna audiences from October 11, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

In the early 1970s seven professional First Nations artists decided to join together and create a new Group of Seven for Canada – sometimes called the “Indian Group of Seven.” They wanted to win an audience for their work and challenge stereotypes about First Nations people working as contemporary artists. The seven artists are: Jackson Beardy (1944-1984); Eddy Cobiness (1933-1996); Alex Janvier (b. 1935); Norval Morrisseau (1932-2007); Daphne Odjig (b. 1919); Carl Ray (1943-1978); Joseph Sanchez (b. 1948). The artist among the seven most familiar to Okanagan audiences will be the award-winning Daphne Odjig, who has lived and worked in Penticton and now Kelowna for a number of years and has achieved a national reputation for her paintings.

A 360-page hardcover catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition by the MacKenzie Art Gallery. It features texts by eight writers, including the curator of the show, Michelle LaVallee, along with numerous large, colour reproductions of works in the exhibition.

An opening reception to celebrate this exhibition will be held on Friday, October 17, 2014, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Kelowna Art Gallery. This is a free event, open to Gallery members and guests, by invitation.

The Kelowna Art Gallery would like to thank and acknowledge KPMG, Pushor Mitchell LLP, and BMO Financial Group, for their generous financial support for 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.

Conversation with the Artists event has been scheduled for Saturday, October 18, from 1 to 3 pm. Join exhibition curator Michelle LaVallee from the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and artists Alex Janvier and Joseph Sanchez, in conversation about 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. This event is free and open to the public.

A special workshop entitled Freeing the Creative Mind will be led by artist Joseph Sanchez on Saturday, October 25, from 10 am to 4 pm. It will be a drawing and painting experience that frees the creative spirit and encourages a new aesthetic, one that is cuhere for Artists’ Biosrrently visible in much contemporary Native Art.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in the heart of the cultural district in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online at or call 250-762-2226.

Please click here for Artists’ Bios.