she was old enough to pick up a paintbrush, Winnipegger Jackie Traverse
knew she would be an artist. Her destiny was confirmed Monday when
she received national honours for art that will be displayed at
the Vancouver Olympics.
40-year-old mother of two daughters is the only Manitoban Coca-Cola
selected in their Aboriginal Art Bottle Program.
program will showcase the work of 15 aboriginal artists from across
Canada who created art from giant-sized Coca-Cola bottles.
who is of Anishinabe descent, said she was inspired to paint her
bottle, entitled Nokomis Mikinaak -- Mother Turtle, from one of
seven sacred aboriginal teachings. Her bottle, which is about two
metres tall, will be unveiled at The Forks National Historic Site
on Jan. 5.
said her inspiration for this project, as well as for all her art,
comes from her own life experiences.
said growing up in poverty in the North End with her father, she
led a rough life. Her mother died at the age of 27 from alcoholism
and her two sisters and one brother were adopted out to white families
during the "sixties scoop" of government-led adoptions of aboriginal
says she spent many years living a "wild life," until deciding it
was time to go back to school and fulfil her dream of becoming an
artist. She recently received a diploma in fine arts from the University
I didn't have that past life," she said, sitting in her living room
surrounded by art. "I couldn't be doing what I'm doing now."
created her bottle with a homemade primer base and acrylic paint.
The project took her a couple of weeks to complete.
bottles will be unveiled regionally and across the country throughout
the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay, and then profiled during the Vancouver
2010 Winter Games. After the Games, the bottles will be auctioned
off on eBay, from Feb. 15-25, with proceeds going to the Aboriginal
Youth Legacy Fund.
hope is to raise a few hundred thousand dollars to go toward the
Aboriginal Youth Legacy Fund, said Kirsten Mihailides, public affairs
and communication manager for the Coca-Cola Olympic Project team.
important for us to be a part of the legacy," said Mihailides, noting
it is important for all 15 of the artists to be involved as well,
so they can give back to their communities through their art.
from the Coca-Cola bottle, Traverse said that she has just received
a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council, which will allow her to
put on an aboriginal storytelling-themed show featuring 12 contemporary
pieces that will showcase the way aboriginal storytelling has changed
over the years.
sells her art at the Wah-sa Gallery at 130-25 Forks Market Rd.