Celebrating Canada 150 and before: Krystle Retieffe’s Dreamworks

Ottawa, July 3, 2017Alpha Art Gallery and Ottawa Life Magazine are proud to welcome Krystle Retieffe, the powerful Mi'kmaq female artist born on Nova Scotia's South Shore, who will be presenting her celebrated works at the 25 Murray Street gallery from July 6 to 23, 2017. Vernissage: July 6, 2017, 5:30pm-10pm.

After studies at Dalhousie University and a finance career in Toronto, Krystle Retieffe returned home to focus on her community, culture and art. Drawing on the history and traditions of her ancestral Mi’kmaq First Nations community of Payun Aqq Payunji’j, Taqamkuk, Krystle's paintings are inspired by dreams and visions to which she brings clarity through her use of bright colour and bold imagery. Krystle uses acrylic on canvas and mixed media to capture the rich spirituality and traditional practice of story-telling. She is also the Keeper of the Drum for the Women of the Shore.

"I am a teller of stories, shining my light into the darkness, hoping to define that which cannot be known", writes Retieffe. "I see my art as a form of identity expression; a self-portraiture bringing together culture and spirituality. There is a sense of freedom I achieve during the creative process that breathes life into my cultural experience, my spirituality and, thus, myself."

With this exhibition, Alpha Art Gallery wishes not only to showcase the work of an inspired and inspiring contemporary artist, but also to invite us to appreciate the art, culture and history of Canada's Aboriginal Peoples, whose North American presence and endeavours long predate the 150 years of Confederation.

To quote National Gallery of Canada Director Marc Mayer, "…fact is that artmaking in Canada does not go back few hundred years, but untold thousands. We cannot simply dismiss this fact by calling it so much Indigenous pre-history lost in time, reducing the finest examples of continuous Aboriginal culture to the status of ethnographic material, irrelevant to the purpose of art…"

Krystle Retieffe's new exhibition is ample illustration that Aboriginal Art is alive and well, and well deserving of its growing worldwide recognition and popularity.

For more information, contact Edith Betkowski at 613-882-8789 or edith@alphaartgallery.ca.