Professional native indian artists incorporation

DEFINITION

Also known as the Indian Group of Seven, it was formed in 1973, and funded by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs. Its founders and only members were Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier, Eddy Cobiness, Carl Ray and Joe Sanchez. The original idea was to formalize a group of native artists that would spread the word about native art and assist and inspire up and coming younger native artists. According to Janvier, ???An important part of the group???s aim was to release young aboriginal artists from the necessity of producing romanticized Indian art. They were challenging Canadian art and destroying people???s conception of native art.??? The first exhibition titled ???Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171??? was at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1973. It included only Jackson Beardy, Alex Janvier, and Daphne Odjig. Indian Affairs helped organize three more shows at galleries in Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. The last was at the Dominion Galley (Montreal) in 1975. The PNIAI never had more than the original seven members, though Bill Reid did join in some shows, and it eventually ceased to exist as an organization as the individual members concentrated on developing their own careers. Sources: Canada Council for the Arts; and Native Art in Canada.com. Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

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