Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Culture minted on collector coins

Culture minted on collector coins Huntsville Forester

MUSKOKA – Muskoka artist Nathalie Bertin has stamped her cultural heritage on two new collector coins for the Royal Canadian Mint. 
“It’s very much an honour to be able to claim this as a legacy,” said an excited Bertin. “I can’t explain the feeling when I saw the actual coins.” 
The M├ętis artist, who incorporates elements of her French and Algonquin heritage into her work, designed a holographic collector coin depicting the Great Hare for the mint last year as part of a series called Northern Lights, which celebrates aboriginal myths about the aurora borealis. 
And now she has two new coins. 
The first, depicting a howling wolf, is an extension of the Northern Lights series, which has since been expanded to include three coins. 
The second, depicting an eagle with outstretched wings, is for a new seven-coin series called Seven Sacred Teachings, which honours the aboriginal cultural cornerstones of respect and sharing. 
Bertin said she was asked by separate project managers at the mint to participate in a design concept competition for each series. Several artists submitted designs to a jury and hers were chosen. 
She said the themes of each series have personal meaning for her. 
“The theme for the Northern Lights stories is special because it allowed me to research traditional tales from the north. It’s a personal interest of mine to preserve these types of stories for future generations,” she said. 
And she said the Seven Sacred Teachings theme is important to First Nations people.
“These are the philosophies of life, otherwise known as Grandfather Teachings. Words to live by,” she said. “It’s a tremendous honour to be able to interpret them artistically and to play a part in bringing these teachings to the general public.” 
She said each series took careful reflection on her part, as it was important to her to interpret the themes respectfully. 
Bertin said the designs in the Northern Lights series are more whimsical. 
But she said she wanted to convey designs for the Seven Sacred Teachings series that were universal enough for anyone to reflect on the images, clearly interpret the messages and impart their own feelings on them. 
Bertin said it is an extraordinary feeling, not only have collectors purchase her work, but also to have her cultural heritage preserved and shared. 
She said a 14-year-old from the United States wrote a review of her first coin on the mint’s website. 
“He tells about how he bought the coin with his own hard-earned money to give as a gift, but decided that he loved it so much that he was going to keep it. My heart melted,” she said.
Bertin said she hopes as a working artist the coins will be a success, but she also hopes people like and cherish the designs as well. 
“Not just because it’s my imagery, but also because of the themes or stories they represent,” she said. “They deserve to be retold for generations to come.”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2014 Exhibition Schedule

Wahsa Gallery presents

April 26 - May 9, 2014
Wahsa Gallery, Winnipeg, MB

INDIGENESSE: An Exhibition of Works by Contemporary Native Women
May 7 - June 28, 2014
Featuring Metis Nation of Ontario
Senator Alis Kennedy, C.D., O.M.C. Ph.D.
Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora, ON
Curator: Nathalie Bertin

Artists Include:
Kayeri Akweks
Christi Belcourt
Lee Claremont
Raven Davis
Lee Deranger
Lita Fontaine
LauraLee K. Harris
Maria Hupfield
Nadya Kwandibens
Tanya Lukin-Linklater
Shelley Niro
Janice Toulouse

Musical Performance by:
Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk
June 20, 8-10PM

Associated Events:
May 15, 7PM: Poetry and artist talk: Raven Davis
May 28 (Time TBA): Beading workshop. *Registration required.
June 4, 2-3PM: Artist talk: Nadya Kwandibens
June 26 (Time TBA): Quill brooch workshop. *Registration required.

OGITCHIDAA KWE (Warrior Women)
May 24 - June 22, 2014
Georgina Art Centre & Gallery, Sutton, ON

Proud contributor to "The Winter We Danced"

Proud to be a contributor to this wonderful book. The Winter We Danced is a collection of art and essays that evolved out the Idle No More movement.

"The Winter We Danced is a vivid collection of writing, poetry, lyrics, art and images from the many diverse voices that make up the past, present, and future of the Idle No More movement. Calling for pathways into healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities while drawing on a wide-ranging body of narratives, journalism, editorials and creative pieces, this collection consolidates some of the most powerful, creative and insightful moments from the winter we danced and gestures towards next steps in an on-going movement for justice and Indigenous self-determination." (ARP Publishing)

Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.

Visit ARP Publishing for ordering information.

Two new coins released at the Royal Canadian Mint

Two coin designs released at the Royal Canadian Mint. The coins are for two different series. One coin, Howling Wolf, is the second release for the Storie of the Northern Lights hologram series.
The other coin is the first from the Seven Sacred Teachings series. This first coin features the value of Love and is represented by the Eagle. This latter series will be also be available by subscription for those who want to collect the entire 7-coin set.
Visit The Royal Canadian Mint for all the info!

YouTube video reviews of the Stories of the Northern Lights: The Great Hare coin

This is really exciting! I never would have thought someone would make a video reviewing the coin I designed. I'm happy and relieved the review is positive! Kudos to the Mint's engravers for doing a such a great job interpreting my image.

Here's another video of someone opening a few coins. Mine is reviewed about half way through.