Mohkinstsis and Gathering Spaces Today

Partnership with Arts Commons

Making Treaty 7 is pleased to announce that we are partnering with the Arts Commons to launch a new program. Arts Commons and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society have identified the common goal of creating space to celebrate and centre Indigenous Two-Spirit identity and knowledge through: mentorship by Indigenous Elders, traditional Knowledge Keepers, professional artistic career mentorship, artistic creation, exhibition, and sharing learning with the broader community.
More information is provided in this call for submissions.

Call For Submissions

Deadline: Monday April 23rd, 2019

Description of Project

The Celebrating Two-Spirit Identity project gathers Indigenous Elders (2 will be engaged for the project), Knowledge Keepers (2 will be engaged for the project), Two-Spirit artists (2 will be engaged for the project), the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, and Arts Commons together to centre traditional knowledge from Treaty 7 Nations on Two-Spirit identities as a way to inspire new artistic work for creation and exhibition, and best practices; on not only working with Two-Spirit artists and individuals, but more broadly on building right relations with all signatories of Treaty 7.

Through the course of this project, Elders and Knowledge Keepers from Treaty 7 Nations will be invited to share their traditional knowledge on the roles and responsibilities of Two-Spirit people within their Indigenous Nations with the selected Two-Spirit artists, Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, and Arts Commons. The selected Two-Spirit artists will be invited to participate in an informal residency where they will meet, speak and be mentored by Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers, receive mentorship from arts professionals on career development, and create a work inspired by the mentorship they’ve received from Treaty 7 Elders and Knowledge Keepers and the question: “what does it mean to celebrate Two-Spirit identity?” This new work will be then exhibited in the Ledge Gallery in August 2019. From May- August the two-spirit artists past work will be displayed in the +15 Galleries alongside an exhibition with Making Treaty 7.

In addition to exhibiting the work from Two-Spirit artists, this project will culminate in a legacy piece on Indigenizing traditionally colonial spaces through traditional Two-Spirit knowledge specific to the Treaty 7 region. This is particularly appropriate and timely given contemporary conversations on the representation of gender non-binary /trans/ Two-Spirit individuals and the role of Two-Spirit people being the traditional conduits of understanding between different identities, worlds and understandings within the traditional knowledge of many Treaty 7 Nations.

Eligibility

We are seeking 2 Two-Spirit artists who reside and/or are members of Treaty 7 Nations. You are eligible to apply for this project if:

  • You are Indigenous and are from and/or reside in the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 Nations and self-identify as Two-Spirit.
  • You are a professional artist
    • A professional artist is an individual who is committed to their own artistic vision and practice.
    • Has training in their field, however this training does NOT need to be from a recognized post-secondary institution – mentorship, apprenticeship, and traditional ways of knowing and learning are all acceptable forms of training.

Project Timeline

April 23, 2019

Submission Deadline

April 29, 2019

Successful artist notified

May 6 – May 10, 2019

  • Install existing work in the +15 Galleries
  • Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Two-Spirit artists – Consultation #1.
  • Elders and Two-Spirit artists – Consultation #2.

May 27 – May 31, 2019 

  • Knowledge Keepers and Two-Spirit artists

    • Consultation #3 (last ‘formal’ consultation session).

June 7, 2019 

Move into the Ledge Gallery

June 7 – July 31, 2019 

Residency format to create new work informed by consultations.

July 29 – Aug 2, 2019 

Artists install completed new works in the Ledge Gallery and Artists existing work in the +15 Window Galleries remain on display.

August 31, 2019 

Artist Reception at Arts Commons

September 2 – September  6, 2019

Strike Ledge Gallery and +15 Windows

How To Apply

Application deadline: Monday, April 29th 2019

Arts Commons and Making Treaty 7 are committed to an open and accesible application process. Applications may be made by:

  • Submitting the information below by email to Natasha Jensen, Visual and Media Arts Associate at: njensen@artscommons.ca
  • Orally, over the phone, in person, or voice recording. To set-up an oral application please call or email Natasha Jensen: 403-294-7455, extension 1905 or njensen@artscommons.ca. Please be ready to speak about the information requested below.
  • Video submission. To provide a video submission, please speak to the information requested below and send the video link to Natasha Jensen, njensen@artscommons.ca.
  • If you would like to apply and require accommodation in another way than listed above, please call or email Natasha Jensen.

Why this project?

Arts Commons and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society have identified the common goal of creating space to celebrate and centre Indigenous Two-Spirit identity and knowledge through: mentorship by Indigenous Elders, traditional Knowledge Keepers, professional artistic career mentorship, artistic creation, exhibition, and sharing learning with the broader community. This goal is consistent with the long-term plan of Arts Commons to Indigenize our spaces through building reciprocal relationships with the Indigenous Nations of the Treaty 7 region via artistic practice. Within the Visual and Media Arts portfolio, we have a consistent record of engaging Indigenous artists (residencies, exhibitions and the current +15 Window Galleries with Tsuut’ina Nation artists), the Education portfolio (most recently with teaching artists Shirley Hill & Chantal Chagnon), and the Producing and Engagement portfolio (most recently with National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations, and partnerships events with IRIM and Drum Beat as well as space support for Indigenous artists).

The Celebrating Two-Spirit Identities Project has 4 objectives: to (1) support the sharing of traditional knowledge from Treaty 7 Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers with Two-Spirit artists, and to (2) have this knowledge inform and inspire new works from Two-Spirit artists based on the question: “what does it mean to you as a Two-Spirit artist to celebrate this identity?”, while (3) sharing the fruits of this reflection and work with the broader community of Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary). Furthermore, this knowledge transfer and artistic process will (4) inform Arts Commons’ own Indigenization process through the creation of a legacy piece (a document providing context and direction) that is centered on Two-Spirit identities as a way into right relations.

With the consultation of Making Treaty 7, we know this to be a particularly appropriate avenue into conversations on Indigenization given that traditionally, Two-Spirit identities are often respected as conduits between different worlds and identities in many Treaty 7 Nations. It is our collective ambition that this project be specific to those Nations of the Treaty 7 region, and the beginning of a deeper relationship between Arts Commons, the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society, and all Indigenous Nations of the Treaty 7 region. We expect and welcome that through the course of this project, other opportunities will open to the ways these relationship may grow.

Arts Commons and the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society share a vision for public spaces and discourse that respects the traditional knowledge of Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and Two-Spirit peoples from the Indigenous Nations of the Treaty 7 region as a way towards building a creative and compassionate society, inspired through the arts.

Ledge Gallery

June-July 2019 (Residency)

August 2019 (Final Exhibition)

The selected Two-Spirit artists will share the Ledge Gallery as a production and residency space. By August there will be a final presentation of the new work created as a results of the residency.

About the LEDGE GALLERY:

This unique space is located in the +15 walkway system and overlooks Centre Court from the second floor of the building. The gallery has windows on two sides, a cement floor, and track lighting.

The LEDGE GALLERY is most conducive to sculpture, installation, and artist-in-residence style projects. Please note that the work is viewed from outside of the windows looking in unless the artist is present (performative piece). Exhibitions, projects, and residences in this location will run from one to three month intervals depending on the nature of the proposal. CARFAC standard artist fees are paid for this exhibition space.

+ 15 Galleries

The selected Two-Spirit artists will each be provided two +15 Galleries to exhibit existing work.

About the +15 GALLERIES:

These spaces are located in the +15 walkway system and have a window on one side, a painted wood floor, and track lighting. These exhibition spaces are conducive to sculpture, installation, and/or two-dimensional works.

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