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Artspace presents

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Alice Olsen Williams
Star Song

January 12 – February 16, 2019

Opening Reception
Saturday January 12, 2019
1-4pm

Artist Talk with Alice Olsen Williams and Caroline Langill
2-3pm

Artspace
378 Aylmer Street
Peterborough, ON

Please join Artspace on Saturday January 12, 2019 from 1 to 4pm for the opening of Star Song, an exhibition of recent work by contemporary quilt maker Alice Olsen Williams. We will also host an artist talk with Olsen Williams and Caroline Langill at 2pm the day of the opening.

For close to four decades Alice Olsen Williams’ distinctive quilt-making style has been grounded in the traditional skills of beadwork and sewing of the Anishinaabe people, and the unique symbols and themes of her culture. Alice sees her practice and labour as a connection to the work of women that has been done, and is still being done, throughout the ages and across cultures. Alice's creative vision in quilt design focuses on the central placement of animals and birds, which figure prominently in the lives of the Anishinaabeg, as well as the traditional floral motifs that Anishinaabe-Kwewag continue to use in their beadwork, quillwork, embroidery, and other creative media. Surrounding her central designs are the conventional North American quilting blocks that were introduced by the first European Settlers, and continue to be developed by contemporary quilt artisans. Through her practice Alice combines the knowledge and appreciation of her Anishinaabe ancestry with new materials, to create wonderful expressions at the intersection of cultural symbolism, the healing arts, and Indigenous activism.

Bio
Since she took her first course in quilting in 1980, Alice Olsen Williams has never looked back. Before she became a quilt artist, Alice teacher of the primary grades, and mother of four, completed her B.A. from Trent University. As well as developing her skills in beadwork and sewing, she discovered quilting, mastering the techniques which allow her to create meticulous hand-quilting. Gradually Alice formed the concepts which would be the basis for her distinctive style and work. Blending her cultural heritage into a unified whole, she envisions the central motif to depict the symbols and themes of Anishinaabe culture, surrounded by the conventional North American quilting blocks and patterns which were developed and continue to be evolved by those women and their descendants who came to this Land from Europe, the legacy of her father’s people. Through her understanding of the teachings of the Elders, Alice has created her own Life symbol. She continues to grow as an artist, searching for new ways to express the Spirit of Creation in the images of her designs.

Alice's quilts and wall-hangings have been included in exhibitions at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian), Michigan State University, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Wanuskewin Heritage Park and the Art Gallery of Peterborough, plus many other museums and art galleries. She was the Artist-in-Residence at Trent University in 2007. Recently she was the Visiting Elder for the SAGE Indigenous Graduate Students Conference at UBC.


Artspace’s main gallery is physically accessible.

If you have any questions please contact:

Jon Lockyer
Director + Curator
Artspace
jon@artspace-arc.org
705-748-3883

Web
www.artspace-arc.org
Facebook
www.facebook.com/ARTSPACEptbo
Twitter
twitter.com/artspaceptbo/
Instagram
instagram.com/artspaceptbo/


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