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Language and Culture (13-17)

Half century work from Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy on display in Halifax

May 17, 2024

APTN News: The Dalhousie Art Gallery is featuring the work of Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy.

The retrospective called Alan Syliboy: The Journey So Far, looks back at Syliboy’s 50 year career as an artist starting in the 1970s.

“This is amazing to be here,” Syliboy said. “It’s like if someone wrote a book but this is visual, this is a visual book or a record of what I was at a particular time they are all snap shots of different periods of my life different ages and where I was.”

Alan Sylliboy
Part of the Alan Syliboy: The Journey So Far at the Dalhousie Art Gallery. Photo: Angel Moore/APTN.

Syliboy said his work is inspired by Mi’kmaw petroglyphs, quillwork and oral traditions.

He’s a leader in contemporary art representing Mi’kmaw culture.

“We’ve had over well over a hundred people in a few days,” said curator Pamela Edmunds. “Many people coming in telling us about ‘I have a drum’ or ‘I have a work of Alan’s’ or ‘I used to buy his T-shirts’ you know. So there’s so many people’s lives that he’s touched with his work.”

Syliboy said his grandparents encouraged him to become an artist.

“My whole life they inspired me,” he said. “I think to become an artist, she would be very happy about the way my life and career has turned out.”

The exhibit is open to the public until Aug. 11.

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Angel Moore,