MMIWG-themed art coming to Kenora gallery

By Mike Stimpson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Thunder Bay Source

KENORA – An art exhibition themed around MMIWG – missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls – will be at The Muse’s Douglas Family Art Centre on March 12-13.

Medicine Lines of Womanhood – MMIWG features artwork made with the support of grief counsellors, knowledge keepers, elders, art therapy helpers and family members.

The project is intended to “create a space of healing” and bring awareness to the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, a news release from The Muse said.

This exhibition is open to the public, and admission is free for Indigenous people, Sophie Lavoie, the art centre’s curator, said Friday. Otherwise, adult admission is $7.

“Fundamentally, art is a form of communication and it is a wonderful way for people to share how they feel,” she said.

The Medicine Lines exhibition gives voice to creative people in grief and “a safe space” for visitors, she said.

“A lot of these exhibitions can be very emotional, and so doing a show like this is a wonderful way of healing, both for the maker and for the viewer,” Lavoie said.

“Given the history of our area, we’re huge promoters of healing for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“It’s an epidemic. It’s something that is not talked about enough, and it’s a very big issue, especially in our part of Northwestern Ontario.

“And we are extremely honoured to present the show, even if it’s only for two days.”

Organized by the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), Medicine Lines is a commemorative art project that first opened as a public exhibition last May at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

The exhibition has travelled to other places since then, including Sioux Lookout and Ottawa last month.

ONWA has videos, reports and other information sources on MMIWG on its website. There is also a toll-free help line, 1-855-554-HEAL (4325).