By: Abdul Hadi Kamran
On March 7th, the Grade 11 NBE3U classes went on a trip to ROM to see Kent Monkman’s Being Legendary exhibit. Kent Monkman is a 57 year old Canadian First Nations artist of Cree ancestry. He is a visual as well as a performance artist who works in painting, video/film and installation. Some paintings which Kent Monkman has made are Resurgence of People, Honour Dance, The Institution and many more. Kent Monkman has been selected to create two paintings for the Met Gala’s Great Hall. The monumental paintings which Kent Monkman has painted are “Welcoming the Newcomers” and “Resurgence of the People”. He was inspired by his Indigenous heritage and dealing with Christianity on Indigenous people.
Monkman’s exhibit offers an alternative history or the past/present and future through an Indigenous lens. During their trip the students were asked to think critically about how reconciliation comes through during the trip, look like, feel like and sound like through the lens of Kent Monkman. Students also liked how Kent Monkan talked about his art. One student said,“It was very funny. Monkman has such a unique way to include humour in his art”. Another student said, “I like the placement and flow of the exhibit”.
Overall the trip was a wonderful experience for the grade 11 students and everyone learned a lot.