Two Show Picks for June 6

Jake Kimble Examines How Grief Takes Space 

Multidisciplinary artist Jake Kimble’s new exhibition, Good Grief, is on view now at Art Gallery of St. Albert in Alberta through July 20. There will be a curator’s tour of the show on June 12 at noon.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, the show is about Kimble’s grief — in this case, around the death of his brother, who died in an accident in 2023. Shortly afterward, massive wildfires burned across the land where Kimble grew up. He felt called to move back home and be with his memories.

The works in this new exhibition straddle between the personal and the public, inviting the viewer into a glimpse of Kimble’s life experiences, past and present. 

“I use the camera as an autoethnographic tool to understand my feelings and what it is that I’m going through at the time — this time the ‘it’ being grief,” he says.

“While the grief will live with me as long as I am, putting some of it into a couple photos makes hauling it around a little bit easier.”

A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Kimble is a Chipewyan (Dënesųłıné) multi-disciplinary artist from Treaty 8 Territory and a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation. He has exhibited in shows at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and United Contemporary. His work was also part of the 2023 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and was shown at the Audain Art Museum as part of the 2024 Capture Photography Festival.

Sam Ash: People of the Eyes

The paintings of the late artist Sam Ash — mostly acrylics on canvas — are currently featured in the exhibition, People of the Eyes, on view until June 16 at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Ojibwe by birth, Ash was born in Sioux Lookout, Ont. in 1951. According to his June 2021 obituary in the Globe and Mail, he spent his first couple of years with his family in Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation in Northern Ontario. He was two years old when his mother died and shortly after that, he lost his hearing after an illness. He was then sent to a hospital in Sioux Lookout but when he got better, he was not returned home to his family. Instead, he was put in foster care. He began painting when he was six years old at the Ontario School for the Deaf in Belleville, Ont. 

Part of what has now become known as the Woodland Group of Artists, a group that includes the late Norval Morisseau, Ash was largely self-taught but his art is found in public and private collections across North America, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Government of Ontario Art Collection, the Toronto Reference Library, the Canadian Museum of History and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

“As a Deaf artist he depended on his eyes to live in the world and communicate with other people,” says the Thunder Bay Art Gallery team.

“As a characteristic of Woodland Style, Ash drew his figures, animals, and beings in profile. Each large, rounded eye brims with emotion.” ■

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