On the main floor, a colourful and vast wall mural by Keegan Starlight, Kalum Teke Dan, and Roland Rollinmud greets visitors. Head up to Level 1M, where metal letters spell out various words in Indigenous languages, forming the shape of a buffalo created by Lionel Peyachew. Inside the Elders’ Guidance Circle on Level 4, Glenna Cardinal created a stunning table and furniture, accompanied by a large photo and text-based piece by Brittney Bear Hat.
Elders' Guidance Circle
Brittney Bear Hat is a 2011 graduate from the Alberta College of Art and Design, where she majored in painting with an interest in collage and drawing. Based in Calgary, her work focuses on identity and belonging.
Half Blackfoot and half Cree, Bear Hat makes work about memory and how her personal history is what makes her Native. Her work involves the process of taking her own family photos or personal items and combining them with text, retelling stories and memories. With each piece, Bear Hat is trying to figure out what is hers and what she can call home.
Elders' Guidance Circle
Glenna Cardinal is a Saddle Lake Cree Nation member who grew up and continues to reside on her mother’s reserve, Tsuut’ina Nation. Her designs are influenced by First Nation culture and tradition. She explores her bone deep connection to the reserve land that six generations of maternal family touched. She has drawn inspiration from this struggle and poured her sense of home into the details of her work.
Cardinal’s practice is creating a chair, a bench, a shawl, a table, a curtain, or a photograph, seeking comfort in home furnishings and finding beauty in a new place. This is her response to displacement as she is looking to reclaim herself in how she reuses and reimagines her materials.
Kalum Teke Dan is a Blackfoot artist from Calgary who originates from the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta. He was first inspired to create art by his grandparents, who were known internationally for their bead work and traditional regalia.
Mostly self-taught and working in both oil and watercolour, Dan has become known for his strong portraiture and his stunning wildlife depictions. An avid attendee of powwows and other traditional ceremonies, he bases his portraits on real people who portray the strength and the pride of the people as a whole.
Lionel Peyachew is a sculptor and associate professor at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan. In 2000, he graduated with an MFA from the University of Calgary. He also has a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Lethbridge and the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Peyachew’s maternal side is from the Nakota Grizzly Bear Head First Nations and his paternal side is from the Red Pheasant First Nations. He came to call Kainai Nation home after living and teaching for the Kainai Board of Education for several years, and at the Red Crow Community College and Old Sun College. While Peyachew currently teaches in Saskatchewan, his family continues to call Kainai Nation home.
Roland Rollinmud is a talented, committed artist with a trained eye and hand. Sensitized by his Stoney Nakoda First Nation heritage in the Alberta foothills, he is widely recognized for his interpretations of nature and First Nations traditional themes.
Rollinmud weaves the beauty of the Stoney People, their language, culture, and history into tangible works of art. He has distinguished himself also as a mentor to other emerging artists, inspiring many to see life more fully and with a profound sense of gratitude.
In 2012, a large mural Rollinmud completed was unveiled in the renovated Cave and Basin Historical Site in Banff, Alberta.
Keegan Starlight is an Indigenous artist from the Tsuut’ina Nation in Southern Alberta. Starlight started practicing art 18 years ago and it has always been his passion, but he formally started his career during his time at ACAD. Starlight has since gained skills in animation, design, 2D studio art, and art instruction.
Starlight began exploring his art skills with drawing in various mediums such as pens, pencils, and charcoal. In 2008, Starlight started painting and has chosen to focus his skills in portrait paintings. His unique and creative eye for art has led him to try out new ideas that have diversified his skills. Starlight continues practicing art and sharing his craft with the world.