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CPAG hosts exhibition by renowned Ojibway artist IceBear

Public opening reception on July 28 from 4-7 p.m. at Portals Gallery
Detail from the painting ‘Curiosity’ created specially for the exhibition. (Ice Bear painting)

The Cowichan Public Art Gallery (CPAG) will present a major solo exhibition of the internationally renowned Ojibway artist IceBear, titled The Modern Age Dreams of a Dreamer, from July 29 to Aug. 19 at the Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery.

A public opening reception on July 28 from 4-7 p.m. will kick off the exhibition; meet the artist and listen to Ed Peekeekoot’s magical Indigenous flute music with refreshments. Thereafter, the Portals Gallery will be open daily from Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibition is intended to spark conversation on universal themes around concern for the environment and climate change while creating space for audiences to explore and discuss the broader topic of reconciliation.

IceBear’s art invokes our imagination, and this exhibition provides us with a fine selection of his paintings, sculpture and mixed media, both new and on loan from private collections.

Individuals may see different expressions of life within this exhibition. IceBear’s work explores natural, spiritual, and animal themes, with the goal of sparking unfettered conversations.

Many ancient Ojibway teachings revolve around the Seven Fires Prophecies. The artist believes those seven prophecies have been fulfilled, and we are now in what are called ‘the time of The Eighth Fire’, a time of choice between two paths.

IceBear explains: “None of the issues plaguing our society today will be resolved if people stay safely on their own side of the road without opening themselves to the risky business of having serious conversations with those they perceive as ‘different’, or ‘not one of us’. Truth and Reconciliation actually includes, and indeed, requires truth, consequences, and acceptance of responsibility for the effects our actions have not only on other lives but also on the environment as a whole.

“As an artist, I hope to encourage people to look, to see, and to consider something out of their normal milieu, perhaps out of their comfort zone. And then to talk about it with those coming from a different and perhaps opposite perspective. Finding common points of interest, talking about those points, sharing their own vision, and discovering that someone with whom they thought would share nothing actually perceives some things in the same way.

This puts them on the same path together, even if only briefly. But it is a start. And that is how reconciliation will come about. Quietly, gently, with conversation and understanding.”

Additional information about the artist can be found on his website: