One of the pieces created by Métis artists Lisa Shepherd and Kristi Bridgeman that will be on display at The ACT Art Gallery. (Barbara Duncan/Special to The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News)

New exhibit ‘localizes’ history of Métis in B.C.

Forget-Me-Not, Métis Rose: The Far West exhibit will open this weekend at The ACT Art Gallery

An art exhibit that looks at the history and culture of Métis in British Columbia will soon open at The ACT Art Gallery in Maple Ridge.

The exhibition titled Forget-Me-Not, Métis Rose: The Far West will feature the works of a collaboration between Métis artists and cousins, Lisa Shepherd and Kristi Bridgeman.

“Our hope is that the Métis community will come and learn and share knowledge with each other,” Shepherd told The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News. “We also hope that the non-Indigenous community comes out to this to learn who the Métis are,” she added.

This exhibition is the third installment of a larger project that has previously been on display in Jasper and St. Albert, Alta., which are both historic places of western Métis populations, according to Barbara Duncan, art gallery curator.

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But Shepherd said this exhibit is “localized” to reflect the history of the Métis populations in the province.

The display will include 10 two-dimensional works, each worked on by both artists. Shepherd, based in Maple Ridge, started each piece with her bead work and then sent the piece to Victoria where Bridgeman contributed by painting the piece at her home studio.

“The artists attribute their remarkable ability to integrate their creative expression to the close study of the beadwork created by their common ancestor, Suzette (Chalifoux) Swift,” said Duncan.

The artists united seven years ago after Shepherd recognized Swift’s influence in Bridgman’s work which led the the pair to discover they were related.

The exhibition is slated to open Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. and runs until Oct. 26. The artists will be in attendance on Sept. 8 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. to offer a tour of the exhibition which will be followed by a talk on the history of the Métis in B.C. by historian Brodie Douglas.

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Métis artist Kristi Bridgeman will have her work featured in a new exhibit titled, Forget-Me-Not, Métis Rose: The Far West, where she collaborated with her cousin Métis artist Lisa Shepherd. (Barbara Duncan/Special to The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News)

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