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March 1-April 30, 2021
Billboard at 424-20th Street West, Saskatoon, SK

PAVED Arts is pleased to present Illusions of Peace, a billboard project by emerging artist Morning Thompson. This work first appeared as part of the Chokecherry Studios‘ inaugural exhibition entitled REDSILIENT. This collaborative, youth-led initiative aimed to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and was presented as a multi-media exhibition in 2019. Thompson’s striking photographic work dramatizes the urgency of this contemporary issue. 

Mainstream society is privileged with the option of being able to look away. That is not an option for Indigenous people who endure intergenerational trauma and continue to be systematically forced into circumstances that normalize and perpetuate violence against our women and girls. Illusions of Peace is a mirror. It forces us to look; this photograph demands that we confront the ways in which we are complicit and commands us to see the truth. 

The original exhibition project also featured works from Kiyari McNab, Kendra Poochay, Shania Thompson and Vicky Laforge. Chokecherry is a non-profit organization founded by youth that provides art-based programming to elevate lived experiences through storytelling, community engagement, and youth-led advocacy. REDSILIENT drew inspiration from Metis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Installation. The Chokecherry project explored the theme of the Red Dress in relation to the local context of Saskatoon and the Canadian Prairies.