Lauren Crazybull: No Stereotypes

“The Future All At Once,” installation view, McMullen Galley, Edmonton

Lauren Crazybull, a 24-year-old Blackfoot and Dene artist, has become the Province of Alberta’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence, the first such position in Canada. Her personal artist mission is to accurately portray First Nations people, against their colonial stereotypes, as she does in her compelling portraits.

Crazybull is a painter, illustrator and documentarian, whose recent focus has been working with youth through art. Her background is justice and Indigenous-related advocacy.

The painting is “Seth,” 2019 acrylic on canvas, 36.5” x 37”

Most portrayals of First Nations people from the 18th and 19th centuries fall into two categories: the brutal and faceless “Indian” shown attacking settlers, or the noble, if naive savage. While such paintings are being banished into museum basements, their dehumanizing stereotypes endure  –  review of Crazybull’s current exhibition (above).

She was chosen from 100 applicants for the residency, during which she will cross the province to end up with a painted collage of Alberta using portraits and different languages to highlight Indigenous stories. The one-year position comes with a $45,000 grant.

Lauren Crazybull: The Future All At Once is on view at the McMullen Gallery,  Edmonton, through Aug. 4, 2019.

Lauren Crazybull’s website, here.

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