The Art Gallery of Algoma presents a new exhibit by an Indigenous artist

The exhibition will feature works by John Laford and other artists; opens September 8 at 7 p.m.

The Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA) presents the new exhibition, Gathering in Honor Maawnjiding wii-Gchi-inenjigeng, featuring works by the late local artist John Laford, Lucia Laford and works from the permanent collection of the GA.

The artwork is from Laford’s private collection which contains artwork from 1994 to 2021.

The opening of the exhibition begins on September 8 at 7 p.m.

Read below for more information:

The Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA) is delighted and proud to present the exhibition: Gathering in Honor of Maawnjiding wii-Gchi-inenjigeng

The Gathering in Honor exhibit features works by the late local artist John Laford, Lucia Laford and works from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA) by Norval Morrisseau, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Russel Noganosh and Stephen Snake. The opening of the exhibition will take place on September 8 at 7 p.m.

This exhibit features wall texts in English and Anishinaabe. We would like to express our gratitude to Barbara Nolan for her translation of the exhibition text.

The AGA began planning this exhibit with Laford’s daughter, Lucia, in early spring 2022, after his passing. John Laford passed away suddenly in November 2021. It was and still is a huge loss for the local arts community and for Woodland Art in Algoma and beyond. His legacy lives on through his art and also through the art of his daughter Lucia Laford who is a young artist and arts educator practicing in Algoma and Ontario.

In this exhibition we present works by John Laford that have never been shown before. The pieces come from the family’s private collection. We feature artwork from 1994 to 2021, covering a wide range of his artistic career. The last painting Laford painted is 8 and Final Fire. What a profound title for his last painting!

With this exhibit, we honor the past, including the extraordinary, evil, and tragic events that happened on Turtle Island. We stand together to bridge the gaps in understanding through mutual respect. The past cannot be changed, so when we look to the future we must be aware, accepting and open to ongoing dialogue. Young artists like Lucia Laford give us hope for a better, happier and more respectful future. The AGA honors Truth and Reconciliation Day with the presentation of this exhibit and extensive educational programming throughout September and October. A series of workshops beginning September 10 with Lucia Laford will provide educational opportunities for all ages.

“This exhibition encompasses the love and understanding between my father and me. We not only share intergenerational trauma, but also intergenerational artistry and strength. I am grateful to have learned all that I have done from my father, and I will continue to learn, create and share for myself, our people and the Laford legacy. I love you John Laford baa!” said Lucia Laford.

“Maanda waamdawewin giiwtaashkaagemgad zaagidwin miinwaa nsadwendmowin biitwiying noos miinwaa niin. Gaa go eta ngii-wiijigkendziinaanh wiisgendmowin, aazh go Mzinbiigewin miinwaa mashkowendamowin. Aapji nmiigwechwendam gii-gkendmaanh kina gegoo gaa-miizhid Noos miinwaa go nga-ni-aabji-ndagkendaan, nga-zhitoon miinwaa nga-maadookiin niin nji, gwiiji-bmaadziimnaa miinwaa Laford dibinawewiziwin. Gizaagin John Laford-ba! Lucia Laford.

The AGA has partnered with VIBE Arts of Toronto to present the educational programs. Additionally, a partnership with Ontario Culture Days will allow the exhibit to be promoted beyond Algoma, including on September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation holiday. Visits to exhibits and a free feather-wrapping workshop are planned.

Please visit Eventbrite to register for Lucia’s workshops.

For more information, please visit this website or call Jasmina Jovanovic, Executive Director, at 705-297-3769.

About the Algoma Art Gallery (AGA)

The AGA is a public art gallery serving the city of Sault Ste. Marie, the Algoma area and northern Michigan. Incorporated on July 7, 1975, through the tireless work of a dedicated group of volunteers and art lovers, the AGA honors its roots as a community organization with its mission to celebrate culture, educate visitors and to enrich lives through the visual arts. The AGA’s vision is to be a leading visual arts institution in Northern Ontario, earning national recognition and international partnerships. Over the past 45 years, the AGA has developed an extensive permanent collection of approximately 5,000 works of art. The collection focuses on Canadian art, with some examples of American and European art. For more information, please visit

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