CCAG Set to Unveil Nelson White Portrait Exhibition ‘Tukien (Awaken)’
-New exhibition of Pop Art-style portraits one of three new featured shows-
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Nelson White. Tukien (Awaken): Nelson White, is on display from October 10 to January 13, 2021. The exhibition features 18 painted portraits of an extended network of indigenous artists, creatives, and activists, who, for White represent contemporary cultural leaders, what he calls his “kin.”
St. John’s-based Mi’kmaw artist Nelson White has become something of a local celebrity recently, following news of his artwork being placed on permanent display at the Museum of the American Indian in The Smithsonian.
Yet even as his work is now being seen internationally, White remains an artist devoted to the familiar, the accessible, and to his extended circle of friends, a group of creative indigenous artists and workers who are together helping to bring about a cultural renaissance, what White calls “a collective raising of consciousness.”
The title of his new show, Tukien, is a Mi’kmaq word meaning “awaken,” a reference to this collective enterprise of creating a new sense of contemporary indigenous life. An exhibition organized by the CCAG and The Grenfell Art Gallery in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the show will tour coast to coast and will include a publication in three languages (English, French, and Mi’kmaq).
Born on the west coast of Newfoundland (Taqamkuk), in the community of Flat Bay, Nelson is a member of Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band. He attended the visual arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College, before graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). His paintings are included in public and private collections across North America.
The new exhibition is one of three new exhibitions opening this fall at the CCAG, including Give Me Shelter. That exhibition introduces the work of 13 emerging artists, also based in St. John’s, NL. All new fall exhibitions will be celebrated with an official opening weekend of activities, October 23-24. Stay tuned to confederationcentre.com for more announcements.
Image Cutlines: (Left) Nelson White, Reclaiming the Throne, Jordan Bennett, Artist (On Joey Smallwood’s Chair), Oil on Canvas, 100 x 75 cm, 2019, Courtesy of the Artist. (Right) Just Being Me, DJ Kookum, DJ, 2019, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.