Ford City Art Display Acknowledges 7,912 Unmarked Residential School Graves

Wednesday February 23rd, 2022

Posted at 5:53pm

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Last updated: Thursday April 14th, 12:33pm

A new art installation in Ford City acknowledges the number of unmarked graves of children found on the grounds of residential schools in Canada and the United States.

The installation, NDN New Year, was created by emerging artist group Three Collective at the newly established contemporary art space Dry Goods Gallery located in Ford City, next to Chance Coffee.

“The striking installation contains 7912 lengths of orange material acknowledging the official number of unmarked graves of children found on the grounds of residential schools in the US and Canada. That number has continued to climb,” gallery Director Nicole Baillargeon said in a media release. “The sheer bulk of material fills the small gallery window space, and emanates a warm, but jarring glow that carries the intent to remind viewers that the effects of these institutions extend far beyond the individuals they represent.”

Baillargeon says the artwork also “acts as an impetus for viewers to consider the cultural and historical importance of a project aimed at recording and educating on the impact of residential schools in Canada.”

The display features a QR code in the window that links to the donation page for a campaign by the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario, to raise awareness and support for developing the site of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource.

Three Collective is a group of Windsor, Ontario based artists, of Lunaapeew, Anishinabe and Haudenosaunee descent: Julie Rae Tucker, Jessica Rachel Cook and Boyd Harris.

Baillargeon says the artists “work with themes of protection and kinship, using traditional techniques with non-traditional materials.”

Dry Goods Gallery is a small street-facing art venue located in the display window of a former retail storefront in the Ford City neighbourhood of Windsor.

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