Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

kim gullion stewart

Urban Indigenous hide tanning Emily Carr University!

teaching, Traditional IndigenousKim StewartComment

The Aboriginal Gathering Place (APG) at Emily Carr University (ECU) is a real community asset! I enjoyed my week-long residency in this amazing space for students, faculty and staff to connect in community. AGP is a modern studio with high ceilings, roll-up garage door and several zones set up for academic work, studio work, food prep, and relaxation. Post-modern couches mix with drum-inspired side tables next to several staff, alumni and Elder created art pieces. I was blown away by the thoughtful preparations made for me by Brenda Crabtree (Director, Aboriginal Programming), the assistance I received from tool expert and artist Lawrence Lowe, and the ever-attentive Michelle Sound, (Aboriginal Program Assistant) who shared tea from her private stash. Countless students, faculty and staff came by to work alongside me and sneek a peek at hide tanning activities including the stomach-turning concoction of moose brains, sunlight bar soap and lard warmed to perfection on a camp stove, then applied to the hide to soften it. Stories were shared, connections were made and most importantly, endangered traditional knowledge was transferred to the community. It was a challenge and a joy to adapt the traditional, wilderness-y activities of deer hide tanning to an urban environment, one I’d be glad to take on again.

You can read more residency details on the ECU website: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2018/a-m%C3%A9tis-artist-brings-traditional-tanning-to-ecu

What kind of art do you do?

work, art as a careerKim StewartComment
tiny banner.jpg

I am asked this question a lot and it is a difficult one to answer. I recently did some research into contemporary terms that are used to categorize artists. In this post, What kind of art do you make? , artist and professor Daric Gill defines the differences between artists having one discipline, like painting, drawing or sculpture, or practicing in a Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary or Transdisciplinary way. He says "every time you see the suffix 'disciplinary', switch it for 'ways of thinking'." Therefore,  "Multidisciplinary = Multi-ways of thinking, Interdisciplinary = mutual ways of thinking, and Transdisciplinary = transcends ways of thinking". So using these analogies, my art practice can be seen as an extension of my world view, then I guess it would be no surprise if I considered my art practice to be Interdisciplinary. It could also be called Metissage, defined as a woven mix of cultural thinking. This bit of information is going to help me simplify my answer and help others understand what kind of art I do.

What about you? What kind of art do you do?

Solo show opening April 12 - INJUN-uity or Growing up Pop

my art, metis artKim StewartComment

I have been working on this project for several years, researching cowboys and indians pop culture from the '50s, '60's and 70's. My investigation included everything from the Calgary Stampede to comic books, to watching old western movies. This work sits at the intersection between the stereotypes and idealisms presented and fact vs fantasy of family life growing up in the 70's. I will be talking about the work at 7pm, at Two Rivers Gallery - 725 Games Way in Prince George, BC

Mother/Daughter project from the 1970's

my opinionsKim Stewart1 Comment

A happy memory that really stands out for me as a teen was a project that my mom and I worked on together. We decided to create a parade costume for my horse. That project expanded into 2 parade costumes and many, many nights of hard work. I loved riding with the costumes and the horse enjoyed it too. However, every year she had a young foal so you can see in these photos that she was often looking off in the distance, trying to get a glimpse of her baby. Now that I have horses again, I think about the possibility of making another costume and, perhaps, my daughter would like to be a part of that too. Rialla and horse costume

Horse and rider in costume

Kim and Rialla with 1st costume

Kim and Rialla in Parade with first costume

Today and Tomorrow

Learning, my artKim StewartComment

Tomorrow is my last day in residency. It seemed to move so quickly and yet I miss my family. I feel that I have experienced each day to the fullest here at the Banff Centre. I attended music performances, artist talks, networked, and created. Below is today's work - devising a way for the pages of my 'testament' to link together. Tomorrow I will say goodbye to this space only as I bring my work home. testament in progress

Another day in Residence...

my artKim Stewart1 Comment

I am in a routine of studio work that I hope I can continue when I get home. There are so many more distractions at home - things of importance that I give in to and that seem to whittle away my most productive time. Of course one can whittle away time anywhere with as little as a scrap of fluff and imagination, but if a new habit can be formed then my body will crave the sense of organization and well being that results, not to mention the excitement of creating new work. lace with background

Today's work

my artKim StewartComment

I worked more on my lacy rounds, but I also spent time working on this woven blanket. It is a digitally woven blanket from a .jpg file. The image is a combination of my paint strokes in the background and a vector drawing of the buffalo in the foreground. I am now applying beads to specific areas of the piece. blanket from above blanket beading detail

Digitization of fish pattern

my art, workKim StewartComment

fish pattern I have finished drawing a large portion of the pattern in Illustrator. A portion of the pattern was used in a public art call that I just completed today. I want to use it again in a different context. I really love the interesting secondary shapes that can be discerned when you look at portions of the pattern. I think I will print it out and do some colouring! I have some velum that runs nicely through my printer and a brand new set of pencil crayons. Very relaxing - at least as good as Yoga.

Old Brush, New Work

creative motivation, my art, remember when---, TravelsKim Stewart1 Comment

photo(5) A number 4 Africana sable brush from 1970's USA. The 'Africana' company once provided high quality glazes, stains and supplies for the booming '70's ceramic industry. My parents had distribution rights for the products in the Grande Prairie (AB) area when they owned their ceramic studio. I used this brush to paint many small ceramic objects - then in the 1980's it took me through art school. In amazing condition, it is still one of my favourite brushes and will come with me to the Banff Centre in February (2015) for a visual art residency. I received word today that I am accepted into the Leighton Artist Colony - Gerin-Lajoie Studio. While at the studio I will focus solely on my art - (yes, someone else will do the cooking and the cleaning for me!) As part of my planned  Education Leave from work, I have until the end of April to concentrate on my art practice. I feel a deep gratitude for this opportunity and plan to make the most of it. I shall keep you updated.

First

my opinionsKim StewartComment

First

Here is a photo of my artwork hanging in the UNBC Rotunda Gallery. It's a digitally woven blanket with beadwork applied on the letters and some of the shapes and forms. I used a photo of 'Mrs. Gullion' (Athabasca Archives) and placed her within my own drawings. The text running along side her on the left is from a scan of the original Metis land scrip document issued to George and Margareta Gullion for their son, Franklin Gullion (my great grandfather). It says, "was the woman half-breed, indian or other? ....Halfbreed." I could go on about the derogatory meaning that is now attached to the label 'halfbreed' but in 1900 that was how Metis people were referred to. There is an excellent essay on the subject at this link: http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy/exhibit_scrip It describes the process by which using land scrip Metis people were stripped of their aboriginal title to a traditional land base.

I think the blanket looks amazing between the wooden lamps. Thank you to the group who put together the show for the Aboriginal Women's Honouring at UNBC.