Iroquois Mohawk artist Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde has been selected as the City of Victoria’s Indigenous Artist in Residence. The new residency program provides the opportunity for a local artist to develop artistic works and engage the community in dialogue, workshops, events, and activities for a one-year term.
“On behalf of Council, I would like to congratulate Lindsay Delaronde,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “We look forward to working closely with the Indigenous Artist in Residence on our journey to reconciliation this year.”
Born and raised on the Kahnawake reservation, Delaronde has been a professional artist for the past five years. She began this journey by travelling to Vancouver to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design followed by a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Victoria. Recently, Delaronde completed her second Master’s degree in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology from the University.
Delaronde is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who works in print-making, painting, drawing, video and performance. The intention of her work is to manifest the relationships between Indigenous and non-indigenous and also intercultural respect among allies, nation-to-nation. Currently, Delaronde is a self-employed artist and moccasin–maker in Victoria.
“I hope to create artworks that reflect the values of this land, which are cultivated and nurtured by the Indigenous peoples of this territory,” said Delaronde. “I see my role as a way to bring awareness to and acknowledge that reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is a process, one in which I can facilitate a collaborative approach for creating strong relationships to produce co-created art projects in Victoria.”
Delaronde is a strong advocate for Indigenous voices, stories, culture and history. She dedicated her art project War Canoe Paddle Project 2009, featuring current and archival photo transfers onto cedar paddles, to honour the Coast Salish War Canoe racing history. Her recent and first solo exhibition In Defiance at the Legacy Downtown supports the voices of Indigenous women on Vancouver Island and the Mainland of British Columbia. The exhibit showcased individual portraits that dismantle the negative stereotypes of First Nations women by having the individuals portray themselves more authentically reflecting truth of diversity, power and respect. Delaronde has also co-illustrated an Indigenous children’s book, The Corn Chief, and last July collaborated on Bondage, a Coast Salish narrative dance performance presented by Speak Outside, MediaNet and the Comox Valley Art Gallery.
The Indigenous Artist in Residence will work with the community and City staff to produce a range of artistic works, which may include for example an exhibition, performance, publication or forum. There will also be an opportunity to create collaborative artwork with the City’s Artist in Residence Luke Ramsey. Discussions with local Indigenous artists, curators and scholars were held in 2016 to inform the new program. The artist’s conception of reconciliation will be explored and building relationships with artists, the public and City staff will be an important part of the residency.
“It’s with hopes that Victoria will embrace our First Nations artist Lindsay with a warm embrace as she opens the minds and hearts as we all seek answers around reconciliation and what a First Nations artist can bring in terms of engagement for our city,” said Rande Cook, a member of the City’s Art in Public Places Committee. “At a time where love, respect, unity and art come together let’s all follow in the path as Lindsay paints and creates towards a brighter future. Reconciliation is an act we as people must feel from within before we can dance unified to the heart of Mother Earth.”
The Indigenous Artist in Residence will work 20 hours per week as an independent contractor from March 2017 to March 2018 for a total fee of $42,000.The program is funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Reserve Fund. Artwork materials, fabrication and installation may be funded by a capital project’s budget, with up to $30,000 from the Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.
The community is invited to meet Lindsay Delaronde at a casual “Meet and Greet” gathering on Thursday, March 16 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Victoria City Hall. Registration is not required.
The Indigenous Artist in Residence program was established as part of the ‘2017: A Year of Reconciliation,’ a theme adopted to guide activities and events this year. For more information, visit: www.victoria.ca/publicart