Ann Beam exhibit explores themes through contemporary art styles

M’CHIGEENG— The works of internationally renown artist Ann Beam run from monumental scale suitable to the lobbies of large office buildings or palaces, to smaller, more accessible works that could hung in anyone’s home, but they all illustrate the remarkable talent that is a hallmark of her work and the mission statement of her gallery Neon Raven in M’Chigeeng “Inspiring the spirit of creativity in self, and others.”

Ms. Beam’s works are currently the focus of an exhibit at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) that runs through to the Labour Day Weekend.

“The OCF wants to feature First Nation art,” noted exhibit coordinator Mark Seabrook. “We have already featured quite a bit of work in the Eastern Woodland style especially, but there are artists who have explored many different styles and developed their own unique approach.”

Mr. Seabrook referenced the unique styles that are evident even within the Eastern Woodland style, counterpointing the works of Simon/Mishibinijima with those of Leland Bell and Blake Debassige. “You can instantly tell the styles apart,” he noted. “Each is very distinct.”

But aboriginal and First Nation art is not limited by the forms and styles of the Eastern Woodland school, even with many having started out their careers within that school branching out and exploring and developing vastly divergent styles of their own.

Ms. Beam is an interesting study in those different styles, working in mixed media and utilizing techniques that stretch far beyond oil and acrylic and encompassing pottery, paper, cloth and found items to explore themes and questions through the lens of contemporary art.

Tracey Mae Chambers will be the next exhibit at the OCF, opening with a reception this fall taking place on September 9. Her works also fall within the boundaries of what Mr. Seabrook termed “super modern.”