Meet The Artists
Aura is a Haudenosaunee (Oneida) artist currently based in Tkaronto. She graduated from University of Lethbridge in 2010 with a Bachelor in Fine Art (Studio Art). She creates mixed-media artwork and murals that are connected to art as healing, love and mothering, often looking to the community to collectively explore personal storytelling and truth-sharing through workshops. In 2017, she received the Leading Women Leading Girls Award, created album artwork fro Frank Waln and designed a poster for World Indigenous People's Education Conference, co-designed ImagineNATIVE's delicate bag with Chief Lady Bird, created the cover of Tanaya Winder's book "Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless", and branded Luminato Festival's Tributaries opening event with her floral designs. Her collaborative murals were featured in the Kinship issue of Canadian Art, and can be seen throughout Ontario and Quebec.
Andrew was born on the Eabametoong, First Nation and grew up in a place called Lansdowne House near Neskantaga, ON. As a youth he spent much time in the forests and rivers near his community, listening to what nature would tell him. His connection to the Earth has always been the driving force behind each craft, allowing him to create with a deeper sense of expression. Andrew studied photography at the International Academy of Design & Technology of Toronto, and has completed film studies courses at George Brown College. Andrew continues to express his unique talents in a variety of artistic forms including: digital photography, portraiture, video filming, music, painting, and traditional First Nation art.
Keitha Keeshig Tobias
I am from Neyaashiinigmiing Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nations and the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown. I have an eclectic range of interests and experiences from which to draw inspiration; a love of creativity in all its forms; a love of culture and the similarities/differences between us all, which makes this world so beautiful.I am inspired by pen & ink fairy tale illustrations, the female form & nature motifs of art nouveau and art deco, the connection of spirit between us and nature of indigenous art, the images/icons/emblems of indigenous culture, and depicting my emotions relating to family/history/current affairs. My favourite medium is dipped pen and ink, especially blue ink: blue like at twilight a time of transition, blue like the water which is women's privilege to cherish and protect.
Bone & Quill
Raised in rural Southern Ontario, Hilton Henhawke, moved to Toronto in 1980. He worked as an industrial painter, providing for his children, but this environment had negative health impacts on him and gave very little space for creativity. Hilton enrolled in OCAD in 1995 and hasn't looked back since then. Developing a truly unique style, Hilton continues to create beautiful impactful work. Henhawke explores his themes in in acrylic, oil, watercolour, pen and ink, among other materials. He does not confine his work to obvious Native ideology and symbols. Some of his art is symbolic and abstract, while other pieces are realistic and representational. Each of Hilton’s art pieces has its own story and often this accompanies the art piece
Born on West Bay, Manitoulin Island, Christine plays an important part of the Aboriginal community of Toronto. In the past she worked for the Royal Bank and later went on to become manager of the gift shops at the Native Canadian Centre. Currently she contributes her time in Seneca College as a teacher in the tradition of First Nations craft making.
Ms. Antone's Beadwork
Ms. Antone's Beadwork is dynamic and contemporary, beaded earrings and accessories handmade by Janet Antone, a proud member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, with amazing detail in a variety of colours and designs. With options for both pierced and non-pierced ears available.
Ms. Antone’s Beadwork has been all over the world (Africa, US, New Zealand, Scotland, Norway) and she is now grateful to pass along the techniques of beading and giving back to her community. She has showcased her work at the Guswenta Gathering at Soulpepper in October 2017, and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for the Adàwàning: Indigenous Women’s Art Market - Dec 2018, The Merry Makers Block Party - March 2019, and she’s also placed second runner up in the London readers choice in the jewellery category in 2017.
Chief Lady Bird
Chief Lady Bird is a Chippewa and Potawatomi artist from Rama First Nation and Moosedeer Point First Nation, who is currently based in Toronto. She graduated from OCAD University in 2015 with a BFA in Drawing and Painting and a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture. Through her art practice, Chief Lady Bird uses street art, community-based workshops, digital illustration and mixed media work to challenge the lens that Indingeous people are often viewed through. Her work subvert the dominant culture's frequent fetishization of Indigenous culture by highliting the diverse experiences that we all come from.
Chief Lady Bird was the recipient of the Donna Mclean Award for Portraiture and Life Study in 2015; she is known across Turtle Island for her murals and received the Leading Women Building Communities Recognition Award in 2017 alongside Aura. In addition to this, she has created designs/illustrations for Vice News, the Ontario Human Rights Communision, Open Canda, West End Phoenix, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Chirp Magazine, Frank Waln, Indiana Inuit: Das Nordamerika Film Festival (Germany), and Oasis Skateboard Factory, to name a few. She was also proudly featured in the legendary Kinship issue of Canadian Arts alongside many brilliant Indigenous Artists!
Pedro Maldonado comes from the community of Peguche near Otavalo, Ecuador. He is a self taught metal work artist creating unique jewellery by using traditional materials such as copper, brass, palosanto, chrysacolla and more. He is most commonly known as "Metalico", due to his love for metal music.
Joseph Kataquapit is Cree from James Bay and was born in Moosonee, Ontario. He has been carving since 1988 and works with soapstone, alabaster, moose antlers, among others. His subjects involve bears, wolves, loons, eagles, owls, turtles, eagles dancers, and more abstract themes. He integrates traditional themes into these pieces and is considered one of Canada's finest black bear stones carver, one of his favourite to make. His work can be found in Toronto galleries and private collections across Canada and around the world.
As an artist I try to let others see how I see the creation of our Creator. The colours, the nights, the days and the different times of day throughout the year. Because as each moment passes a different picture (panting) appears. That is the beauty of the Gift called art in its natural beauty.
Sweet Dreams and Native Things
Mandi Montour - Tkwasit Mamalis
Member of the Lenape/Delaware Nation on Six Nations of The Grand River. Mandi is mixed heritage Lenape/Delaware, Mohawk, Anishinaabe, Irish and German.
Mandi took to Art quickly at a very young age, drawing and painting came very naturally. As Mandi grew, her parents and family introduced to other craft such as Embroidery and Beadwork. Leather and stitch work with clothing and Moccasin making by the age of nine. Mandi found a great passion with Dreamcatchers at the age of 11 when she was taught the traditional Ojibwe teachings from family with materials from the land.
Mandi was named Tkwasit Mamalis after the Deer which translates to Gentle Fawn. She is a member of a large family and community of hunters and gatherers that strive towards Food Sovereignty and the Perseverance and Protection of Treaty Rights to hunt, fish and trap for Six Nations and beyond. Much of the organic material that is harvested from these hunts is the media for Mandis’ work.
A busy Mother of 2, Wife and Daughter, Artist, Crafter and Workshop facilitator for her own business; Sweet Dreams and Native Things, she always takes time to teach anyone that wants to learn as traditions can only be carried on if they are passed to the next generations.
Founded in 2016, Second Aura was created by Courtney - a mixed pekuakamiulnu (mashteuiatsh) and German artist. The focus has been reconnecting to lost traditions through family adoptions, reconnecting to the relationship of the land where we come from, Pekuakami. Courtney is currently in school for goldsmithing and jewellery design - her hopes in the future are to teach basics in primitive metal working within different communities. Everyday is lived by trying to improve our relations and reconnect with tshitanashikutapan mushuminutsh - our ancestors.
Kinoo Arcentales (Yana Manta) is an artist of South American indigenous (Kichwa) and Mestizo heritage. Born in Canada in 1992, into a family of artists, Kinoo was exposed to different kinds of arts from an early age. His main role models are his grandmothers on both sides of his family: one being a business owner, the other a retired fashion designer.
Kinoo was awarded with The Rowenta Best in Show Award at the Redefining Design 2016, which was acknowledged by numerous Toronto magazines.
Kinoo’s 2016 collection AN.D.N was inspired by the prophesy of Condor meets the Eagle.
Surrounded by art and culture, he has found his main inspiration and purpose from his native heritage. Knowing the history of his people and the stereotypical dominant views of the indigenous groups, Kinoo is not only willing, but is zealous to change these perceptions through his vision YANA MANTA.
Joseph is from the remote community of Neskantaga approximately 300 km north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. He graduated in Fine Arts at the Ontario College of Art & Design in 1985 and has had numerous private and public commissions which include logo designs, murals, and illustrations.
In 2017, Joseph completed seven paintings of "Seven Stages of Life" and the "Seven Grandfather Teachings" for the Ministry of the Attorney General, Aboriginal Justice Division which are prominently displayed in their office.
Joseph currently lives and works in Toronto.
Clear Wind Blows Over the Moon
Heather Clear Wind Blows Over the Moon is a Cree First Nations healer, big drum keeper and group facilitator with over 20 years experience.
Her healing and peacemaking songs come through the big drum helping to bridge relationships between all people, especially between Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
Her spirit led healing work has helped transform the lives of many and she’s thrilled and deeply honoured to share this sacred medicine
Sweetest Dreams is a jewellery and accessories line, owned and operated by native artist Tabatha Dodge. Tabatha was born and raised on Walpole Island First Nation aka Bkejwanong Territory. Here is where she learned beading, craft making and other traditional techniques of her ancestors from her Grandmothers. Tabatha likes to take the stories and teachings of the past and make them more modern for today's society in her line Sweetest Dreams.
Manuel Manzo was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and has travelled around the world as an artist, including France, Brazil, Canada, and Ecuador. He creates his artistic work from internal turmoil and emotion, interweaving his different histories. Manuel recovers his ancestry by using Aztec and Mayan symbolism that represent water, earth, movement, and time (among others), forming an edgy mix of modern and traditional designs. His work is an acknowledgement of where he comes from, as well as the creative community around him.
Father, business owner, musician, and master weaver. Pacho uses traditional techniques of treating and processing wool and holds knowledge of the use of traditional wooden looms and waist looms. He also incorporates Andean designs into more modern based textile machines making blankets, ponchos, tablecloths, and more.
I am a self-taught artist of Anishinabek ancestry. Being an artist has given me the ability to focus on a traditional way of live, and establish my own independance. It has also given me great insight on what we need to accomplish for future generations, as well as the chance to promote and strengthen the lessons we learn from traditional singing, and dancing.
I am one of many emerging Aboriginal artists who are faced with the new challenges of applying traditional art in a modern world. We will advance our cultural traditions into the emerging contemporary trade, I attempt to convey this in my paintings.
I have been inspired by stories, traditional teachings and ceremonies, that have been passed on by our elders. A life that we have always understood.
What I've experienced I hope is picked up by the youth that I walk with in my journey through art and life itself.
Mark Seabrook is a gifted Ojibwe artist, poet, writer, performer, and playwright. Early in life, Mark was adopted by a non-native couple and grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of Manitoulin Island.
He paints quickly, driven to record, again and again, bold images and symbols that speak eloquently of his Ojibwe heritage. Once his vision is recorded, he works with it, refining and enhancing it until he is satisfied and can move on to the next canvas.
Mark has a gift for depicting aspects of aboriginal culture and spirituality that extend beyond common stereotypes. His paintings usually include people and each figure is strewn with and surrounded by symbols that define who they are inside, as well as how they appear to the world.
Born to both Bird Clan and Fish Clan, birds and fish feature prominently in many of his paintings. The birds, often ravens, sit silent and bear witness or carry messages to the figures that live within his works.
Jackie and Tonya Lee
A mother and daughter duo that make moccasins in original Ojibway pattern that it has been passed down 4 generations. Tonya’s great grandmother use to do this in her living room to make a living.
Tonya now helps her mother Jackie to sell every pair of moccasins, which each contains a beautiful story.