The City of Burlington is commissioning an Ontario-based Indigenous artist to create a permanent public art piece for the outside of Joseph Brant Museum. Residents are invited to share their thoughts on two finalists chosen by an independent jury. The two proposed designs can be viewed and commented on by logging into or joining the City’s engagement platform: www.GetInvolvedBurlington.ca. The comments received on www.GetInvolvedBurlington.ca/MuseumPublicArt , along with the technical and detailed design proposals, will inform the jury’s final selection.
The hope is that this project will help to create awareness of the rich Indigenous cultures, peoples and heritage that are at the root of our territory, city and province. The theme of the artwork will focus on Indigenous language. Language connects us to our past, present and future; it is crucial to the development of community and the sharing of knowledge.
The budget for this project is $120,000 CAD (maximum, exclusive of HST). The City of Burlington Public Art Reserve Fund and the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection are jointly funding this project.
The City released A Request for Expressions of Interest in 2019. An independent jury made up of project and community stakeholders and representatives from Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River went through the submissions and choose two finalists to develop preliminary artwork concepts.
David M. General
David is Oneida and a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, near Brantford, Ontario. Prior to his art career, David worked as a Journeyman Bridge and Structural Steel Ironworker, an Elementary School Teacher and an Arts & Culture Officer with the federal government. David’s career as a full-time artist began in 1980 and for 30 years he worked and developed a distinctive style for work, mainly in marble and bronze.
In 1984, David was a founding member and co-chair of the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA), a national native artist organization that successfully lobbied the National Gallery of Canada for greater recognition and representation for First Nations Art. In 1987, the National Gallery bought the first of many works by contemporary native artists.
Artist: Kris Nahrgang
R. Kris Nahrgang is a multi-disciplinary artist working in wood, stone and traditional oil mediums. He is also an advocate for the rights of First Nations communities in Ontario and has liaised between Native and non-native groups with respect to archaeology since 2000. Kris Nahrgang is a Status, Mississauga Ojibway Treaty Indian – status held at Curve Lake. His home is located close to the site of the Peterborough Petroglyphs which date back over a thousand years and are recognized as the largest single concentration of rock carvings in Canada.
Kris’ art is a continuation of this spirit and tradition of rock and totem carving. His style has a balance of innovative, modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles, as well as Maclean’s magazine.
Kris’ website is here
To read the artists’ proposals visit www.GetInvolvedBurlington.ca