SKArts - Audrey Dreaver and Catherine Blackburn works in the Estevan Art Gallery & Museum.The art exhibtion, I do not have my words, is touring to 13 communities across Saskatchewan over the next three years with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils' Arts on the Move Program.

The show is curated and organized by the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery with funding assistance from the City of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries and the Canada Council for the Arts. "I do not have my words" features printmaking, photography, sculpture and beaded, mixed media works by Indigenous Saskatchewan artists Joi Arcand, Catherine Blackburn and Audrey Dreaver. Each artist’s body of works explores language loss and considers how language is connected to one’s cultural identity.

Joi Arcand explores the interruption of intergenerational language-learning, as a result of the residential school system and other colonial attempts to remove Indigenous culture, through the revitalization of the Cree language. Emphasizing the discontinuation of the language within Arcand’s own family by rendering it hyper-visible in location and material, the work further questions how the public presence of language is connected to acknowledging Indigenous peoples.

Five of the Arcand works are on loan from the Saskatchewan Arts Board's Permanent Collection.

"We appreciate the opportunity to get these newly acquired photographs out and touring throughout Saskatchewan. Joi's background growing up in Saskatchewan is very important to her work. These photographs are from a series where she indigenizes signage in small towns. I think her work is going to resonate throughout the province," says Belinda Harrow, Consultant for the Permanent Collection.

SKArts - Joi T. Arcand, Duck Lake askiy - Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, From the series ote nikan misiwe askihk - Here on Future Earth, 2009, Inkjet print.

Catherine Blackburn’s art practice is informed by her Dene and European ancestry, considering Canada's colonial past through her personal relationships and life experiences. The pieces in I do not have my words use media, traditional materials, like beading, and artistic processes that connect to the various themes and histories Blackburn explores in the work, including the Dene language.

Audrey Dreaver’s prints document her research into her family’s history of Cree language loss and consider how this loss has impacted her cultural identity as a Cree woman. In this exploration, Dreaver poses questions: How did my family come to lose our language? Is your language who you are? Does my inability to speak my language mean that I am less Cree? The artist invites viewers to engage in her exploration and consider if language loss affects identity by breaking continuity with one’s past and culture.

Exhibition dates and locations:

Mon, Apr 1, 2019 to Sun, Jun 30, 2019 at the Estevan Art Gallery & Museum

Sun, Sep 1, 2019 to Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at the Route 11 Arts Cooperative

Tue, Oct 1, 2019 to Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre

Wed, Jan 1, 2020 to Thu, Jan 23, 2020 at the Mistasinik Place

Sat, Feb 1, 2020 to Sun, Feb 23, 2020 at the Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre

Sun, Mar 1, 2020 to Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at the Community pARTners Gallery

Fri, May 1, 2020 to Sat, May 23, 2020 at the Sherven-Smith Art Gallery

Mon, Jun 1, 2020 to Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at the Central Park Library/Arts Centre

Tue, Sep 1, 2020 to Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at the Chapel Gallery

Sun, Nov 1, 2020 to Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at the Tisdale Community Library

Mon, Feb 1, 2021 to Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at the John V. Hicks Gallery at the Prince Albert Arts Centre

Thu, Apr 1, 2021 to Fri, Apr 23, 2021 at the Gallery Works and The Third Dimension

Sat, Jan 1, 2022 to Wed, Feb 23, 2022 at the Station Arts Centre, Rosthern

Fri, Apr 1, 2022 to Mon, May 23, 2022 at the Allie Griffin Art Gallery



Top: Audrey Dreaver and Catherine Blackburn works in the Estevan Art Gallery & Museum

Bottom: Joi T. Arcand, Duck Lake askiy - Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, From the series ote nikan misiwe askihk - Here on Future Earth, 2009, Inkjet print