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Opening Event / James Groening + Ruby Smith Díaz

September 27, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Tuesday, September 27 at 6pm, Massy Arts will host the opening reception for two new exhibitions: “the road home through the woodlands in search of a lost name” by Kahkewistahaw artist James Groening (Blue Sky), and “Duppy Conquerors: Black Histories + Futures in Canada” by artist and educator Ruby Smith Díaz.

Please make sure to register for the event.

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The shows

In this collection of paintings on canvas and drums, Groening both processes aspects of his Kahkewistahaw identity that are “lost in time” and the reclamation of it in reconnecting with his Indigeneity through his maternal mother and artists like Norval Morrisseau, Mark Anthony Jacobson and Loretta Gould. He is currently mentoring with Anishinaabe artist Saul Williams.

Read more about the exhibition at Massy Arts.

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Duppy Conquerors presents light boxes made by grade eight co-op placement students at Guilford Park Secondary through artistic mentorship by Díaz at the project Still Here, an eight session arts-based workshop series exploring the histories, erasure, and resistance of Black Communities living in Canada.

Read more about the window exhibition at Massy Arts.

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The Artists

James Groening (Blue Sky) uses his art to explore his Kahkewistahaw culture and identity. Through it, he hopes to invite others along on his journey of healing and growth. He traces the revitalization of his artistic style to a blessing in the form of a Haida style hummingbird, which inspired him to hone his own style.

Ruby Smith Díaz (she/her/hers) was born to Chilean and Jamaican parents in Edmonton – amiskwaciy and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education with distinction. Since graduating, she has found her passion working as a facilitator and multi- disciplinary artist. Ruby’s experiences of marginalization as a youth have inspired her to dedicated her work to exploring issues of identity, decolonization and joy. She is invested in helping individuals develop the sense of self-worth and integrity that will make them agents and animators of change in the world, according to their most passionate, fiery and generationally-poignant imaginings.

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September 27, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT