Indigenous Art Collection
In the 1975, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned 20 artists from across the country to create works which would convey the Christian message and also serve to illustrate one of its publications at the time, the Sunday Mass Book.
The artists were given the task not merely of describing an event or person in documentary terms, but of sharing the inner meaning of that event or person in contemporary artistic idiom. They were asked to share their deepest insights and talents as they spoke of the presence of God. Together their work is a uniquely Canadian expression of the significance of the Christian message, and reflects the cultural richness and diversity of Canada and its people.
Among the artists, almost every region of the country is represented, as is youth, maturity and creativity into old age. This group also included several Indigenous artists, featured below, who consulted with their elders and employed their own sacred symbols to convey the Christian message.
The notes in italics found beneath each piece are drawn from the artist’s own comments.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Art Collection”, 1975, pp. 6-7
Waiting for the Lord
OONARK ca. 1906
JACKSON BEARDY 1944
The Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist
BROKEN COPPER, TONY HUNT 1942
STANLEY PETERS 1945
They are Happy to Eat Together
JOSHIM KAKEGAMIC 1952