Métis beadworker announced as Regina's first Indigenous artist-in-residence

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Audie Murray, a local Métis beadwork artist, will be the first Indigenous artist-in-residence in Regina. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC - image credit)
Audie Murray, a local Métis beadwork artist, will be the first Indigenous artist-in-residence in Regina. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC - image credit)

A 29-year-old Métis beadwork artist raised predominantly in Regina will be the city's first Indigenous artist-in-residence.

Audie Murray, who has been beading for about 10 years, already has work — a beaded sock, beaded toilet paper and a piece called "For hambone, Métis billy stick" — in the Radical Stitch exhibit at the Mackenzie Art Gallery.

Murray said she's "ecstatic" about filling the 500-hour, five-month role ending in December, following a call for an Indigenous artists-in-residence in June.

She said the call aligned with projects she was hoping to get started on.

"Some of those projects include a larger scale beadwork wall hanging that is a continuance of previous works of mine, and another project I'm really excited to get on the go is working with Indigenous youth in more of a mentorship program," she said.

"There is so much to learn from youth. I'm really into inter-generational acts of care and learning and understanding … I also really, really appreciate how young people, like between the ages of 20 and 15, are just so well-informed about their being and their positionality within a settler-colonial world."

Her current focus is historical beadwork, especially from her family, and how it relates to contemporary Indigenous people.

The theme for the residency is "Urban Indigeneity." The wall hanging beadwork she plans to create will reflect on what urban Indigeneity means to her in collaboration with some of the youth she'll be working with.

"Right now, I'm really interested in the landscape of the sky and how that's kind of this overarching being that encapsulates urban life and rural life and all these different time frames," she said.

As a local, Murray said she struggled to find spaces where she wanted to grow as an artist in Saskatchewan, but after living in B.C., she came back and found what she called, "a wonderful art scene."

"I am really looking forward to continuing to be a part of that scene."

Richard Agecoutay/CBC
Richard Agecoutay/CBC

Mark Sylvestre, the Indigenous artist-in-residence program co-ordinator, said the hope is to "strengthen the Indigenous cultural presence" in the artistic community.

"The support [for the program] from the Indigenous artist community in Regina and beyond has been amazing. Very supportive," he said.

"This is just the first [Indigenous artist-in-residence] of many to come."

He said there were seven submissions for the position, all of which were strong.

The goal is for the artwork to be completed by the end of December and then featured on the main floor of City Hall.