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In November 2018, Ace was selected as the first Indigenous artist for the newly established Art + Law Indigenous Artist in Residence Program. This exciting new residency came about as a partnership between the Arts Council Windsor & Region, the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and School of Creative Arts in support of contemporary Indigenous art and its practices as an integral educational opportunity for both students and community. Being the first of its kind, the Art + Law residency brought together 94 students, faculty, and participants from the Indigenous community and the general public around a collaborative project.

Ace proposed a collaborative work that would coalesce a very complex legal document, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s – Calls to Action (download here), into a single work of art taking the form of an 11.5 metre long contemporary wampum belt. Working in the Armouries Art Gallery in the School of Creative Arts, each participant was asked to confirm their participation by first surrendering their rights to the work by signing a witnessed document and symbolically accepting one dollar in exchange. The surrender was a wry reference to the treaty making process in Canada, and also reflected in the work’s title, For as long as the sun shines, grass grows and water flows.

Subsequent to their surrender of rights, each participant was then provided with an 8 x 10 inch black velvet covered stretched canvas panel with embedded floral components made from capacitors; a kit with glass beads and electronic components to complete the leaf and stem work and connect the electronic component floral motifs; a single TRC Call to Action; a piece of vellum; and a small tobacco pouch.

Each workshop session began with an overview of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that examined the impact of the Residential School system on more than 150,000 Indigenous children and the final report consisting of 94 Calls to Action for reparation. The participants were then asked to hand write in graphite on vellum their individual call to action. This provided each of the participants with an opportunity for private reflection or public discussion on their particular call to action while working on completing the floral and stem work of their panel. To complete each panel a row of single, double and triple hand written vellum calls to action were rolled and wrapped with red glass beads and affixed to the lower portion of each panel. The red velvet tobacco pouch offering completed the panel and was mounted between the floral work at the top of each panel. Finally, a single row of white heart (red) trade beads was added that extended down the right edge of each panel connecting it to the next. The participants finished 54 panels, 94 handwritten calls to action in 4 days. All panels were mounted together in a continuous horizontal row set against a larger painted blue strip resembling a long belt that was flanked on either end with a copper end piece with multi-coloured telephone or communication wire extending out from it and cascading to the gallery floor.

Two complimentary works by Ace were juxtaposed against the collaborative work to provide additional context on the impact of Residential School on Ace’s extended family and community: How can you expect me to reconcile, when I know the truth? (2018); and a précis of 12 works selected from the 30 work suite Memory Landscape (2014). By completing the collaborative work, Ace and the 94 participants completed Call to Action #83, in particular “for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process;” and Call to Action #28, “law schools in Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.”


reconciliationsyllabus (February 28, 2019): Art, Law, and Community: Truth and Reconciliation through Art

CBC Windsor Morning News (November 13, 2018): University of Windsor artist announces first of its kind project

CBC News (November 12, 2018): Contemporary Wampum belt by UWindsor artist-in-residence ‘carries a strong message’

PARTICIPANTS (In order of the Calls to Action worked on):

  1. Deseree Heldsinger
  2. Alyssa Sweeney
  3. Raquel Aranjo
  4. Yutang Zhang
  5. Nicholas Stonge
  6. Noah Renaud
  7. Claire Prowse
  8. Sherri Dutot
  9. Matthew Lepair
  10. Katherine Brooks
  11. Bruce Kotowich
  12. Francesca Incitti
  13. Julie Tucker
  14. Lauren Rapp
  15. Becky Young
  16. Dana Datta
  17. Kelsey Michailoff
  18. Jacqueline Cadarette
  19. Georgie Body
  20. Felicity Cincarak
  21. Meaghan Sweeney
  22. Sigi Torinus
  23. Czarina Mendoza
  24. Chantal Brouillard
  25. Bailey Galbraith
  26. Michele Granamuttu
  27. Max Arvidsson
  28. Cody Abbruzzese
  29. Cassie Hillman
  30. Shawn Fletcher
  31. Lucy Howe
  32. Long Hoang Tran Nguyen
  33. Alanah Shields
  34. Manjola Bali
  35. Rachel Montsch-Marentette
  36. Jennifer Swanson
  37. Lillian Korkontzelos
  38. Anne Storey
  39. Autumn Martin
  40. Rod Strickland
  41. Kewy Janisse
  42. Barry Ace
  43. Anthony Saracino
  44. Phoenix Thomas
  45. Emily Schmidt
  46. Tory James
  47. Dominic Pinney
  48. Gemma Smyth
  49. Chantal Ferreira-Pennell
  50. Jackson Pijl
  51. Lauren Bost
  52. Alex McKay
  53. Julia Mammarella
  54. Angelsa Hoang
  55. Imogen Wilson
  56. Niklas Pizzolitto
  57. Madison Espie
  58. Radoskaw Budzik
  59. Aryan Memarzaden
  60. Carolina Betancer
  61. Angela Desjardins
  62. Jennifer Fraser
  63. Maryanne Bakos
  64. Serene Alsaed
  65. Megan Andrews
  66. Derrick Biso
  67. Tina Rouhandeh
  68. Trevor Pallisco
  69. Lai Jiang
  70. Ashley Kerr
  71. Sarah Abdulreda
  72. McKenna Jack
  73. Ines Mastellotto-Lesny
  74. Lourdes Lasala
  75. Jeremy Burke
  76. Michael Darroch
  77. Helene Pargov
  78. Wanda Relf
  79. Molly Dilworth
  80. Megan Kuli
  81. Celina Ineyici
  82. Ruby McKinnon
  83. Victor Romao
  84. Harley Crow
  85. Max Vanderheide
  86. Mya Fuerth
  87. Kyle Jones
  88. Tamara Adu-Hamdah
  89. Lee Rodney
  90. Claire Baldwin
  91. Savannah Staddon
  92. Emma Sorrell
  93. Janet Maitre
  94. Avery Lessard