In the spirt of acknowledgement of and reconciliation with the First Nations people of the land where we present our programming and exhibitions, the Saint John Arts Centre has dedicated a new permanent public installation featuring a stunning mask by renowned artist Ned Bear.
The mask is considered a fine early example of Mr. Bear’s work; it is presented with the text of land and treaty acknowledgement in four languages: Wolastoqey, Mi’kmaw, French, and English.
The Saint John Arts Centre would like to thank the many people who made this important project possible:
• Pat O’Leary and his late wife Lynn O’Leary, generous supporters who have donated this important piece of artwork;
• Charles Gaffney, Artist and former Indigenous Program Lead & Community Engagement Officer at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, himself a student of Ned Bear, for generously volunteering his time and expertise to guide SJAC in carrying out this project with due respect and care;
• Allan Tremblay (Wolastoq Ankuwocomit Translation Service), and Dolores Sock (Mi’kmaw translator) for their professional translation services;
• Miville Couture and the New Brunswick Museum for their work and assistance with the French translation;
• Taylor Printing Group, our print studio sponsors, for their assistance in designing the text plates
CBC News reporter Logan Perley is a Wolastoqi journalist from Tobique First Nation; his interview with Ned Bear and a mini-documentary featuring his work (and that of fellow First Nations artist Justin Sappier) was done just a few weeks before Mr. Bear’s unfortunate passing on December 24, 2019.
CBC News article: Spirit guides helped Ned Bear create his famous masks