A bright future is ahead for recent Métis Fine Arts graduate

Kelly Duquette
Kelly Duquette stands in front of her Métis-inspired
art work. Click here to view a larger version. 

Kelly Duquette, Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen and MNO Youth Representative for Region 1, just completed her four-year Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from the University of Ottawa (uOttawa).

Every year, uOttawa BFA graduating students come together to put on a collaborative exhibition to showcase all of their best work to the public. Duquette was one of 43 emerging artists whose artwork was included in this year’s exhibition. The exhibition, entitled Ode, took place on April 22, 2016 at the uOttawa Visual Arts Department.

Duquette’s exceptional talent and promise was recognized as she won first place and was awarded the Edmund and Isobel Ryan Visual Arts Scholarship. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a BFA graduate who demonstrates an excellence in painting.

Duquette’s painting series is entitled, I Forgot Who I Was, But Now I Remember. All of the paintings in the series are 3 feet x 2 1/2 feet. Duquette explains her series:

Kelly Duquette_Art
One of the paintings in Kelly Duquette art series, I Forgot
Who I Was, But Now I Remember. The painting is created
using dispersion pigment, beadwork, pouring medium and
acrylic on linen. Click here to view a larger version.

“Following over one-hundred years of silence, assimilation and oppression within Canadian society, the Métis peoples have begun to re-emerge and reclaim their culture. This unique time in our history has become an inspiration behind my artwork. Painting has allowed me to reflect on the issues related to my hidden identity and my experience as a Métis youth. The reductive quality of my work represents the loss of our language and traditions, while the intervention of abstract beadwork and acrylic paint reinforces our strength and resilience as a distinct rights-bearing people.

“As pigments mix, liquid frisket is stripped away, and opaque acrylic paint hides the colours beneath, my process becomes metaphorical. Each artistic decision reflects on the ethnogenesis and historical treatment of Métis peoples within North America. My video piece titled, Identity in Process, is designed to translate this process into a 2D art form which achieves an overall effect that is comparable to my finished paintings. The spoken phrase at the end of the film is in Michif-French—a single dialect of the traditional Métis language taught to me by a number of knowledge keepers in our community. Chrpren ma keultseur, erprend ma voyoi, erprend kikchu, translates to, ‘we are reclaiming our culture, reclaiming our voice, reclaiming our identity.’”

For more information about Duquette and her artwork, please visit her Facebook page.

Published on: May 24, 2016

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