beat-nation-tour-7.580.560.sOrganized by the Vancouver Art Gallery, this exhibition is subtitled Art, Hip Hop & Aboriginal Culture. The exhibition is co-curated by Kathleen Ritter and Tania Willard, and includes work by over 15 young aboriginal artists.

Some, like Kent Monkman (pictured above) and Bear Witness (from A Tribe Called Red) are well-known in contemporary art circles, while others such as KC Adams and Jackson 2Bears are artists on the rise.

You can find out more about the exhibition, which opens at the MacKenzie Gallery on July 4, here.

We’ll likely do a review in an upcoming issue, but for now I’ll just observe that most if not all of the artists have a solid grounding in the traditions of their respective First Nations culture. But through exposure to media and their own lived experience they also have a keen understanding of contemporary Western culture.

In Beat Nation they use a blend of traditional and contemporary art media to explore their own identity plus comment on various social and political issues related to their communities and broader Canadian society.

The opening reception on Friday coincides with an opening for an exhibition at the Dunlop Art Gallery called Tragedy Plus Time. I’ll have more on that show in a July 4 blog post. But I believe the plan is to have a shuttle bus run between the two galleries to help people attend both events. Then on Saturday July 5 there’s a curatorial tour of Beat Nation starting at 2 p.m. The exhibition runs at the MacKenzie until Sept. 7.