Date: February 18, 2020
Artist Bio and Statement Submitted by: Jennifer Tourangeau
Editors Note by: Andrea Deleeuw
Jennifer Tourangeau is a proud Two – Spirit Denesuline (Chipewyan) person and a member of the Lutsel Ke’ Dene First Nations in the Northwest Territories. She grew up in Ft. Smith, NT and now lives in Grande Prairie, AB with her partner. Jennifer attended Grande Prairie Regional College and graduated with a Visual Arts and Design Diploma in 2016 and was also the Valedictorian for her Class.
Since graduating she was employed at GPRC and helped to create and design the Indigenous Studies Courses taught there. Now she owns her own business Two-Spirit Design which will help promote her art and also is doing consultation work for the Research and Innovation Department in the area of Reconciliation and Indigenous Scholarly Activity as it pertains to the Traditional Knowledge and Ways of Knowing.
Jennifer uses the experiences of her personal life of living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), being Two Spirit and her Indigenous background to create many of her art pieces. These pieces represent an emotional response to how she sees the world and her own personal journey.
Tourangeau says, “My art practice is a spiritual, positive and restorative process that helps me to deal with the affects of intergenerational trauma that was caused through the colonialization of my nation.”
About the Art Work
#IndigenousResurgence represents how we as Indigenous People whether First Nations, Metis, or Inuit are now in the process of re-claiming, re-discovering-and re-connecting Who We Are. The background represents the colors of the Medicine Wheel which are White (North), Yellow (East), Red (South) and Black (West). There many teachings that come with the Medicine Wheel, but perhaps the most important one is that WE are all connected, and that Time is continuous, as there is no Beginning or End. It simply is. The color of the fire in the Tipi represents the Spirit of Indigenous People, and through that, we are resilient and are not going anywhere. The hand holding the eagle feather shows our connection to Spirit and that as long as we keep that connection open always to them, we are not alone ever.
To view Jen’s work, visit the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, located within the Montrose Cultural Centre at #103, 9839 – 103 Avenue. Admission is free.
Editors Note: Jen has many gifts and she shares them generously with her community. She is the first artist of 2020 to be featured at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, and currently has two art pieces displayed at the Grande Prairie Regional College. Jen’s art garnered international interest when it was published in an Australian children’s book alongside Canadian artist, Robert Bateman. When I asked Jen about what she was most proud of, she said it would have to be her “willingness to hear others perspectives, but not allowing my voice to be silenced”. By staying true to herself, Jen reminds the people around her about how important it is that we speak our truth without apology. This is a gift that Jennifer has given to me. Thank you, Jen!
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