Located in LI 216 (Language Institute (La Cité) 2nd floor)
An Interesting Meeting on the Prairies, 2005
Acrylic on canvas
61″ x 37″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.2006.4
I’ve always made art.
Métis artist David Garneau was born in Edmonton in 1962. He has lived and worked in many cities across Canada including Calgary, Halifax and Regina. His first exhibition was at the Bearclaw Gallery in Edmonton in 1980. Garneau’s work is inspired by indigenous artists Alex Janvier, Joanne Cardinal-Schubert, and Bob Boyer as well as by Métis traditional beading. He is currently one of only a handful of Métis artists making work that is both Contemporary and directly influenced by Métis material culture.
In 1994 Garneau accepted a position as Associate Professor in the Visual Arts Department of the University of Regina. Aside from his art and teaching, Garneau is also a curator and writer. He has won awards for curation in Sydney, Australia, as well as for mentorship and Métis art in Saskatchewan.
An Interesting Meeting on the Prairies (2005) was commissioned by the University of Regina’s Institute français. The painting was created for the “Resistance and Convergence: Francophone and Métis Strategies of Identity in Western Canada” conference in 2005. Cleverly hidden in the work are the Institute colours as well as traces of the logo and other morsels of information linking the work to the Institute and the conference. The main subjects of the work are two men who are meeting for the first time. The men are trying to determine each others’ cultural identity. They are wondering if the other is Métis, Canayen, both or neither. Garneau is asking the viewer to consider the complicated issue of identity and question whose authority it is to make such determinations about others.