Nipissing grad selected for MAMO Artist Residency
Nipissing Fine Arts graduate Gerald McComb, BFA’17, has been working as a guest artist as part of the new MAMO – Indigenous Artist Residency Program. The program strives to create work and facilitate community arts projects in the communities of Hearst and Constance Lake.
The MAMO project (Cree for “Together”) was formed as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation to incorporate arts and culture into activities as means of healing and living a good life.
McComb’s paintings, sculptures, installations and mixed media works focus on the themes of cultural identity, traditional ceremonies and healing from the effects of colonialism and the Residential school system on Indigenous peoples.
“I lived in Hearst since January 15, and it’s been an awesome experience. I started out by visiting the university and high schools in Hearst and Constance Lake First Nation, sharing my art practice and my story of trauma and healing in hopes of inspiring others who had experienced similar things. I then facilitated hand drum making workshops with the high school students who were interested,” said McComb.
McComb’s two major art projects during the residency were two large murals. One was a four-panel mural divided between the four high schools. Students would create imagery that represented their school and reflected their thoughts on reconciliation. The four panels are meant to fit together cohesively. The second mural is shared between the two communities of Hearst and Constance Lake, two communities divided by distance and differences in language and culture. The mural projects encourage communication and teamwork among people of both communities.
“Along with the mural projects, I have given presentations and painting workshops in various places including Kapuskasing, Hearst and Constance Lake. I was also provided with an amazing studio space in each community, where I have been able to create about 30 pieces, mostly large paintings, that are included in my first solo exhibition, currently on view at the Arts Council of Hearst’s gallery space,” said McComb.