Took in the opening night ceremonies for the Alex Janvier show at the National Gallery of Canada on Thursday night, and wow, those folks know how to open an exhibition.  They had the real deal going with the drums, hand drums, and a jingle dress dance, all sounding pretty awesome in the Great Hall.  The place was packed to the rafters!  The man in charge said the only other opening with more people was the Van Gogh deal a few years ago.  So big time Wow Pow!

Alex took the podium and had some very interesting things to say about his experiences in the residential school.

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Of course Alex goes way back in modern First Nations art history and he talked briefly about his place in it.  It was a pleasure to hear him.  And to see him with the hand drummers out front, singing those 2 songs.

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Big scale work.  Far and away from what other First Nations artists were creating at the same time.  Mind you Alex Janvier comes from northern Alberta, a long way from Ojibwe country.

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I’ve only seen Alex Janvier’s work in books!  Let me tell you the real deal, at 60×90 inches and larger, really makes an impression for first time viewers like me.

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Whew!  Of course the gallery was packed so it was tough to spend the time needed with the pieces but the good news is the show is in until April 2017, there will be plenty of time to go back in for an up close.

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Heavy duty!  A great retrospective and not an easy task, so said the organizers, to get the owners to part with their pieces.

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Wow!  Well I made it through the exhibition finding my way to the exit just before they closed the place for the night and who do I run into?  It was Alex coming along with an assistant and so I yelled out:  Hey Man!  Nice work!  He actually stopped, turned around and came back to me, shook my hand and said thanks for coming!  That was really cool.

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