When challenged to step out of his comfort zone and produce a work of art with the theme of human rights, seasoned landscape artist Don McMaster triumphed with a respectful tribute to the Aboriginal culture in Canada.
This painting will be displayed as part of the Human Rights Showcase Gallery at this year’s Manitoba Art Expo. The themed showcase is in honour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, opening in September.
Thinking about the “subjugation of our native peoples,” he says, “really got me going.” McMaster was heartsick about the government’s policy in the 1880’s of putting native people onto reservations, allowing them to live in poverty and to die off from sickness and disease.
This painting is the result of four “tries” at depicting just the right artful story. The Aboriginal couple in the painting are shown without any support structure, and are reduced to begging to survive. Don is not accustomed to adding human beings to his paintings of sprawling landscapes, but he has succeeded in his thoughtful representation.
The temporary title of the painting is Sick and Starving.
Art Expo will feature up to 50 of Manitoba’s finest artists, under one roof for three days – October 24th to 26th at Assiniboia Downs. For more information visit http://www.manitobaartexpo.ca/
Watch CNC and Manitoba Art Expo websites for updates on this continuing series of articles highlighting artists in this year’s Human Rights Showcase Gallery.
BIO: Don McMaster, artist, naturalist and outdoorsman, lives in the landscape he loves to paint. A well known advocate for wildlife and habitat preservation, McMaster has worked for many organizations dedicated to those purposes. Don and his wife Ardythe work at maintaining the native mixed grass prairie on their property overlooking the Assiniboine Valley southwest of Portage la Prairie. Don McMaster’s paintings explore the western Canadian landscape in all its changing lights and seasons. A member of the Assiniboia Group of Artists, he exhibits and sells his new work each year at Manitoba Art Expo.
Click here to see all of the articles in this series by Faye Hall.