Jason Baerg: ᓭᓭᓯᐤ / Sêsêsiw / Yellow Legs
February 21 – March 21, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, February 21, 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Fazakas Gallery, 688 East Hastings Street
Fazakas Gallery is pleased to present ᓭᓭᓯᐤ / Sêsêsiw / Yellow Legs, a solo exhibition by Jason Baerg (Cree Métis).
Jason Baerg’s relational painting installations and experimental media works respond to his ancestral homeland by extending the visual language of Indigenous Abstraction. Through abstraction and interplay of form, pieces such as Ka semakamok kîkway ᑲ ᓭᒪᑲᒧᐠ ᑮᑲᐧᕀ / Projection (Morning Star) and Umpehdu weeunpe dooweh eyeh / He who paints the day (Thunderbird) present expansive three-dimensional forms as they hover across white walls. Meanwhile, works such as Pimohceskanas ᐱᒧᐦᒉᐢᑲᓇᐢ / Pathway and Ka Wâsekwahk ᑲ ᐋᐧᓭᑲᐧᕁ / Sky Blue – sizeable figures in their own right – are grounded on the gallery floor, activating a connection between the earth and the artworks themselves.
This recent body of work first came to fruition by invitation from the artist-run centre Neutral Ground in Regina in 2019. The artworks were made while in conversation with two community leaders, Paulette and Marcella Poitras, Indigenous knowledge keepers and storytellers. During the exhibition’s iteration in Regina, Baerg notes:
“Lee Maracle, a Sto:lo author, describes Story as an entity that finds its Teller. Through this space of understanding, I welcome visits from the Indigenous ancient stewards of this place to participate in the collaboration of a new body of paintings and a new media projection. I open myself up to what has to be said and heard through this process in Skype and cell conversations with local Regina Indigenous people (who are also welcomed into this creation space) as the work is in production.”
As inspiration from Cree cosmology and Indigenous futurities animate the pieces, they become portals and guides to explore traditional knowledge, their viewers becoming participants in an experience of connection and exchange.
Jason Baerg is an Cree Métis curator, educator, and visual artist. Recent curatorial projects include exhibitions with Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and the University of Toronto. Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He currently is teaching as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Métis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively, as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Illuminato Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jason Baerg has adjudicated numerous art juries and won awards through such facilitators as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council.