Exhibition Dates: June 28th – July 30th, 2023
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00am – 2:00pm
James Groening, or Blue Sky, is a Burnaby-based Cree artist from Kahkewistahaw Band, Turtle Island. Adopted by his white grandparents during the Sixties Scoop, Groening was raised in a farm community in Plains Cree Territory (otherwise known as Manitoba). Although disconnected from his Kahkewistahaw roots, he retained part of his Indian name, Blue Sky, given by mushom, or grandfather, as a child. After meeting his maternal mother and learning of his heritage, he attributes discovering Coast Salish art forms, specifically, drawing a Haida-style hummingbird that inspired him to pursue a journey of reclaiming his Indigeneity.
After learning of the Woodland Art style, Groening did a brief apprenticeship with Ojibway artist Mark Anthony Jacobson to learn how to paint. He continues an ongoing mentorship by one of Norval Morrisseau’s friends and Anishinaabe artist Saul Williams, where he explores painting and drum making in his whimsical, vibrant designs. Led by artistic intuition and native legends, Groening works with the physical nuances and spirit of each canvas and elk skin to begin his creation process. His artwork documents his journey of healing and growth, as he attempts to revitalize his cultural identity through art making and teaching among others.
As an emerging artist, James Groening has graciously received a grant from The First Peoples Cultural Council BC and completed a residency at Artscape’s FACES Collective in Toronto. He has exhibited at the Arts Council of New Westminster, Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel + Gallery, and the Massey Arts Society. In addition, he has led various Turtle Legend Workshops with the City of New Westminster and United Way BC. Currently, James is actively creating and learning on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Qayqayt, Tsleil-Waututh, Stó:lō, and šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) territories.
Email: email@example.com Instagram: @blueskyjwg
3rd Sunday at The Gallery
Event Date: July 16th, 2023
Event Hours: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Join us at the Gallery in Queen’s Park, on SundayJuly 16th, 2023, from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, for an Artist Talk by exhibiting artist, James Groening, as he shares with you his inspiration as an artist, how he began on this journey, and some of the stories that his work is formed around.
“I seem to find a peaceful balance when I am doing these artist things and it brings some relief in these hectic times.
I hope to learn more and contribute to the art world both by creating and teaching those who want to learn. I think this is the way forward for our cultural heritage to heal and grow. ”
~ James Groening