By: Tawnya Plain Eagle
Local artist from the Piikani Nation is the new artist in residence at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary Alta.
On Feb. 8 Albertine Crow Shoe welcomed guests to her opening reception of her exhibit.
“It was an exciting time. There was a lot of hard work that went into bringing the exhibit together,” Crow shoe said.
Her exhibit is titled Siksika tsi ta pi sini Sa kaiss skoo na tapiwa Kii pait ta pii sin noon which translates to “The Blackfoot people’s way of life is still strong.”
This exhibit opens its doors to viewing different art forms made by Niitsitapiiks or The Real People.
“The designs, color and spatial placements reflect the environment from which they were created,” Crow Shoe said.
She added that her designs come from images that are symbolic in the Blackfoot culture that will invoke memory, history and spiritual power.
Her inspiration comes from her great grandfather Stumik Sapop, – In English – Bull Plume.
Until his death in 1920, “he maintained a Winter Count ledger that recorded significant events in Blackfoot history for each year, from its start in 1764.”
His orgianl winter count is part of the exhibit.
Crow Shoe said that his pictographs are what inspires her as a jeweller.
“I use many traditional materials from our ecosystem and while I put these on non-traditional bases [such as silver] I remember who I am and where I come from.”
Her ability to create these designs comes from her late mother Eva Little Mustache.
“She taught me to see beauty in my world even when things where dark,” she added.
Crow Shoe said she is the first Indigenous women to have a residency at the Glenbow Museum.
“I want to educate the people going through the museum on who we are as Niitsitapiiks and that we are still here.”
The exhibit will be open to the public until Jan. 5 2020.