|Programs» Art Gallery» Exhibit: peace speaks: Among Friends|
About the Exhibit
The Saint Norbert Arts Centre (SNAC) is currently running a program called "Peace Speaks". Tibebe Terffa, a renowned artist from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is an artist-in-residence at SNAC under this program. SNAC and the gallery began loosely working together last year when Sudanese artist Ahmed El Sharif, brought to Canada by the MHCGallery, had a short residency at SNAC. SNAC director, Louise May, and I decided it would be appropriate to offer Terffa an exhibition at the gallery while he was in residency at SNAC.
Gordon Bell High School/Rose Namubiru Kirumira
Rose Namubiru Kirumira teaches art at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Kirumira is the third artist to be brought to Winnipeg by the MHCGallery to work at the gallery and with Gordon Bell High School through a Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Visiting Foreign Artists grant. She will work at Gordon Bell with art students and English as a Second Language students, most of whom are refugees. One of the main reasons to bring Kirumira here is to help ESL students feel good about themselves and proud of their heritage and with that confidence find it easier to fit into a new society here in Canada.
Hanif Shabgard taught in the art school in Kabul, Afghanistan for 16 years. He is an accomplished painter. The art school was closed under the Taliban. While in India for an exhibition Shabgard decided it was not safe to return to Kabul. He and his family were helped by a contact in the Canadian embassy to come to Winnipeg.
Recently my wife had a conversation with a woman who was hesitant to reveal what country she originally came from. Why? She was scared of how people might react if she told them she was from Afghanistan. Last Saturday the Globe and Mail reported that some Muslims in the US are changing their names to ones that do not identify them as Muslims. Mohammed becomes Michael. Last fall a female Muslim student from Gordon Bell attended an opening at the MHCGallery. She usually wears a head covering but wasn't at the opening. I asked why. She said that since September 11 she was scared to in public.
How does this all tie together? I'm excited to see what young Canadian art
students are thinking about and creating around the themes of peace and freedom.
I despair at how we willingly stereotype people, religions and cultures. I'm honoured
that we can present the work of artists from normally unknown or stereotyped places
like Afghanistan, Uganda and Ethiopia. Our
Finally, the art
Join us at the opening of peace speaks: Among Friends to see recently created
paintings and wonderful sketches by Tibebe Terffa, lovingly rendered oil paintings
of daily life in Afghanistan by Hanif Shabgard, found object sculpture by Rose
Namubiru Kirumira and student art based in youthful idealism and current tumult.
Together we will peer towards the future and into largely unknown reality, the
future through our children and the reality through the skillful hands of artists
from places we should understand better.
Thursday, May 2, 7:30pm
Artists Tibebe Terffa, Rose Namubiru Kirumira and Hanif Shabgard will be in attendance along with students from MBCI and Gordon Bell at this celebration of art and hope. Terffa's art will all have been created since having been in residency at SNAC.