Albertine Crow Shoe was Glenbow’s Artist in Residence in 2018. Through her exploration of Glenbow’s collections she was inspired to create new works of art, on view here together with the artifacts and artworks that inspired her. “My art is an interpretation of art forms that go back to our stories, to ceremony and to our ways of knowing. Niitsitapiiysin, our traditional Blackfoot way of life, exists today and thrives within modern society. Our stories, connection to the land and worldview is our foundation for the world we live in.
This exhibition opens a door to viewing arts forms, made by Niitsitapiiks, The Real People.
The designs, colour and spatial placements reflect the environment from which they were created. The material speaks for itself. Each piece illustrates these elements simply and beautifully. From these art forms I have created my own pieces that will carry on the tradition of design, colour and craftsmanship.
My ability to create comes from my mother. She taught me to see beauty in my world even when things where dark. My inspiration in my designs comes from my great grandfather Stumik Sapop, Bull Plume. Until his death in 1920, he maintained a Winter Count ledger, beginning in 1764, that recorded significant events in Blackfoot history for each year. Each small pictographic image carried with it a story for that event. Blackfoot history, our history, told by us, became visible to the outside world.
Perseverance and dreams have guided me down this path as a jeweller/artist, and I am grateful and humbled. My mentors have taught me to see and experience a deeper connection with humility and prayer, which is a connection of rebirth, strength and knowledge.
My designs flow from images that are symbolic in Blackfoot culture that invoke memory, history and spiritual power. I use many traditional materials from our ecosystem and while I put these on non-traditional bases (silver) I remember who I am and where I come from. Miisamosoko, the Ancient Road, was the trail of my grandparents and great grandparents who were all prominent ceremonialists among the Blackfoot. It is my obligation and privilege to carry this on for my people and to bring an awareness of these values to the non-Indigenous world.”