By Josée Duranleau
TORONTO—On November 19 and 20, 18 outstanding Indigenous artists and artisans showcased their art and crafts at the second annual Indigenous & Ingenious Art Show & Sale; an exciting showcase of traditional and contemporary design aesthetics. The featured artists and artisans are diverse in their artistic expressions, but they all have a commitment to excellence and they love to share their culture through their art.
Among the many artistic offerings at Indigenous & Ingenious were: baby moccasins with intricate beadwork handcrafted in deer hide by Tammy Enosse; Clayton Samuel King’s acrylic paintings depicting the cultural teachings of the Anishinaabe people; soapstone carvings by the gifted Six Nations Mohawk artist Ryan Hill; contemporary and unique mixed media jewellery by Barb Nahwegahbow; feathers crafted in stained glass by Norma Kagesheongai.
Singer and actor Shandra Spears Bombay performed daily at 12, 2, and 4 PM. Shandra has been singing with a hand drum for over 20 years and is pleased to share her talents with Indigenous & Ingenious this year.
Indigenous & Ingenious also featured Suzanne Smoke of Biindigen Healing and Arts. Suzanne and her team prepared Indigenous food typically served at Pow Wows using traditional ingredients like buffalo meat, Indian corn, and wild rice.
The artists participating in this unique event create an incredible Indigenous world where everyone is welcome. It’s a place where they can build allies. It’s a place where as Indigenous artists and as Indigenous people, they feel comfortable and confident about sharing who they are. There are very few places in Toronto where one can purchase authentic Indigenous work directly from the maker/artist and get the stories behind the pieces.
Event organizer and artist, Barb Nahwegahbow discussed the importance of Indigenous art and crafts, and how events such as Indigenous & Ingenious Show and Sale are instrumental in educating people on the beautiful culture.
“We are magnificent people and we create magnificent art. Art is a great tool for communication and it can be a great change agent,” stated Nahwegahbow. “Our Indigenous values and worldviews are embedded in our work. Torontonians deserve to see the best that we can create. To meet the artists and talk to them about their work and the teachings and stories behind what they do; what drives them.”
“Indigenous & Ingenious is a celebration of who we are as Indigenous people,” added Nahwegahbow. “We wanted to create an opportunity to share with Toronto the best of who we are as Indigenous people and as artists. Not only are we excited to promote our work, but also to promote a greater understanding of Indigenous people.”
Anyone looking for beautiful authentic Indigenous-produced art and crafts and food can visit the
Indigenous & Ingenious Show and Sale Facebook page.