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Ace’s work entitled Erased (2017) has been acquired by Global Affairs Canada, and the proceeds from this sale is generously donated by the artist and Heffel Galleries to Bruce House (Ottawa).
Bruce House “is a non-profit service organization in support of women, men, and children living with HIV who may be dealing with addiction, mental health issues, homelessness and incarceration. They support a diverse population including members of the LGBTQ, ACB (African, Caribbean, and Black), and Indigenous communities as well as newcomers to Canada. Bruce House ensures that their clients have access to equality, housing stability, supported independence, and opportunities for healthy living.” (Source: Bruce House website).
In 2017, Ace purchased a pair of pink cowboy boots that he sourced from a Housing Works thrift store in Hell’s Kitchen (NYC), a non-profit organization that provides advocacy, support, and lifesaving services to those impacted by homelessness and HIV/AIDS. Ace was in New York City for the opening of the exhibition Native Fashion Now: North American Indian Style at the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian).
Up-cycling these found cowboy boots, Ace embellished them with his signature electronic component floral work, referencing Anishinaabe Great Lakes style beadwork, replete with communication wire trail duster fringe. For Ace, this work addresses his personal relationship to queer history of his generation in the 1980s and 1990s, and the erasure and negative impact that the pandemic had and continues to have on the queer community. Although HIV/AIDS is a medically manageable disease in First World countries today, it is still a deadly disease for the Third World, and it continues to disproportionally and adversely impact marginalized and racialized communities globally.
The exhibition history of Erased (2017) includes John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto for Queer Landscapes / Queer Intersections in 2017; To Be Continued: Troubling the Queer Archive at Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa from 2019 – 2020; and in Governor General laureate Gerald McMaster’s installation of Indigenous footwear for the 2022 Governor General’s Award Media Arts Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from Fall 2022 to Winter 2023.
Erased (2017) is now in the permanent collection of Global Affairs Canada and will be exhibited in Canadian diplomatic missions abroad.
The artist would like to thank Heffel Galleries for their generous philanthropic partnership in support of Bruce House.