The Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Peoples' Art and Artifacts (MOAPAA) has been awarded a public art commission worth $112,500 from the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA). This public art commission will be used to acquire or commission three pieces of work from Indigenous artists for MOAPPA's Celebrating New Dawn project. Portage College will contribute $37,500 in kind for a total of $150,000 for the projects to be housed in the Lac La Biche College Campus.
"The "Celebrating New Dawn" project is an opportunity to mark the anniversaries of Portage College and the Museum of Aboriginal Art and Artifacts. It's a wonderful way to recognize the long history of these organizations in north eastern Alberta, and create a legacy that celebrates and fosters understanding and appreciation of Indigenous heritage and culture. The Government of Alberta is proud to support the project through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. I look forward to seeing the results!" said Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism.
"The Alberta Foundation for the Arts is thrilled to support the creation of three new public art projects in Lac La Biche. As works formally acquisitioned to the AFA art collection, the AFA will take great pride in caring for and preserving these works in perpetuity for the enjoyment of all Albertans." Said Liam Oddie, Chair of Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
This year Portage College is celebrated its 50th anniversary as well as the 40th Anniversary of its Museum of Aboriginal Peoples' Art and Artifacts. The three public art commissions will celebrate the rich Indigenous cultural and natural heritage that are at the roots of our organization, community and province.
"We thank the AFA for their continued support in our museum's efforts to celebrate the prominence of Indigenous art in the Canadian national consciousness." Said Dr. Trent Keough, President and CEO of Portage College.
These artworks will connect significant areas of the college's Lac La Biche campus including: the main foyer, the Indigenous Arts Centre, and the new Environmental Services Building which is also used for traditional hide tanning.
The project's general concept asks that artists consider the importance of the context of the organizational history, the location in Treaty Six territory and the natural and human heritage of the area as central to the creation of the artwork.
The expected results of this project is to: create a legacy that celebrates and fosters understanding and appreciation of Indigenous heritage and culture and how it connects and inspires contemporary artwork; showcasing artists in a large scale, public setting that will encourage community connection with the artwork and to provide an opportunity for talented artists whose work celebrate the natural heritage of north eastern Alberta.