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College's Indian Art Dept. Expanding

Donna Pinay, Cultural Centre

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      DECEMBER 1973      v03 n12 p13  
Sarain Stump is director of the Art Department of the College. He is a Cree and part Shoshone from Wyoming who has been employed with the College since December, 1972.

He is also a member of the American Indian Art Historic Society, co-editor of the Weewish Tree Magazine and the author of There Is My People Sleeping. This book is a combination of his poetry and art and was published in 1970. Sarain paints' and carves and has done so for a number of year's.

He has had exhibitions in Banff, Wyoming, Montreal and Calgary and presently some of his work is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Last year, Gerald McMaster, a Cree-Blackfoot, from Alberta and Saskatchewan, worked with Sarain. Gerald is presently attending the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Together Sarain and Gerald visited several schools both on and off the reserves to introduce art and its understanding as part of Indian culture.

There is worthwhile knowledge in this part of our culture as well as other Indian cultures and they focused on this. First they drew and explained the differences between Western European Realistic art and the different forms of Indian art attempting to show that any form of art is good and Indian art is not primitive or inferior but just different. After capturing the students' interest they would have them draw with a discussion period following. Some of the schools visited include Onion Lake, Marieval, Shoal Lake, Red Earth, Moose Woods, St. Philip's, James Smith, Cut Knife, Pleasant Dale and a few schools in Saskatoon. They also did two presentations at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon this summer.

Sarain and Gerald produced a series of slides with a soundtrack background about Indian people and art which will eventually be developed into a video-tape. A series of hastinote cards were printed with the work of four young Indian children reprinted on them. These are available at the Cultural Centre. Sarain has done two publications, Two Forms of Art and American Indian Graphic Symbols and Their Adaptation in Art. These are also available at the Cultural Centre.

Sarain has also set up displays of Indian artifacts in Saskatoon and would like to see the College with a permanent display of these artifacts as the general, public show a great interest. Sarain and Gerald have illustrated such publications as Assiniboine Legends, Cree Legends Volume Two, the Cree Calendar, and others.

Sarain would like to see better communication between Indian artists and good markets as he feels many artists become discouraged in their work as the only market is that of the tourist and this is not permanent. Hopefully, with such a market, Indian artists would be able to progress in their work without many of the problems they now face. Willis Eagle, an artist from Moose Woods Reserve, will have some work on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.This year Sarain has visited some schools but is no longer available as he is concentrating his efforts in developing and directing a program to train Indian people to teach art in schools. Harry Lafond, from Muskeg Lake Reserve is assisting Sarain.

Harry obtained his General Bachelor of Arts Degree at Calton University in Ottawa this past year. Tom Severson, who studied art at the University of Perugia in Italy, and the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, will be instructing some of the courses.

Curriculum of the Art Course will include a study of the various art forms (painting, sculpture, music, dance and handicrafts), a knowledge of the techniques of teaching art to children, and the relationship between art and culture in Indian society. In this course fifteen students with artistic abilities and potential will be selected for training. After successful completion of the course, these people will teach art in Saskatchewan schools.

As a result of the Art Department's efforts, many people of Indian ancestry have become aware of Indian art and there will be more of this to come in the future with the Indian Art course and Sarain's work.

Young artist demonstrates skill
Young artist demonstrates skill
Sarain Stump
Sarain Stump