George Littlechild: Apisasisin Fall 2007

I have always been struck by the power of the small, brilliantly coloured images that illustrate the pages of the children's stories by George Littlechild. Here, for the first time, Littlechild has created an entire collection of paintings on this scale.

 While the addition of items from every day life's a candy wrapper, a button, or postcards from the past–may often make Littlechild's paintings seem superficially playful, they are intended to strike a much more serious chord relating to the environment and almost always to his Plains Cree culture.

 Followers of the artist's work will know that he has a strong interest in portrait painting. More than half of these Apisasisin ("little things") feature the striking faces of powerful figures from the history of Plains Cree and other First Nations. The Oracle images and the portrait of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo pay homage to some of his muses; First Nations Contemporary Graduate is a proud result of their influence.

 Born in Alberta, Littlechild received an Art and Design Diploma from Red Deer College, and then a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since the late eighties, Littlechild has exhibited across Canada, the United States, and in Europe, and his work is included in many public collections in North America. He has written and illustrated one of his own children's books, and has illustrated several others. Recognized with numerous awards for both his artwork and books, he was also awarded the 2006 Aboriginal Role Models of Alberta Award.

 We are excited to present this solo show from an outstanding First Nations artist.

 - Elaine Monds, Director

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