A Metis Fort Saskatchewan artist is happy to have her artwork displayed for public enjoyment.
Angela Hebert was the adult visual artist selected for 2022 as part of Fort Saskatchewan’s Art in Public Places program. Her piece, Angels Among Us, is a beaded work on deer hide she started in the wake of 215 unmarked graves discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the summer of 2021.
She had no set process while creating the image and instead let the leather tell her what to do as she wove glass beads and porcupine quills through the hide. It took nearly nine weeks to create the piece, with days stretching 6-10 hours.
“The picture that came [was] a mother and her two children that are not with her, but they’re angels, so they still will stand beside her,” Hebert explained.
Hebert, an educational assistant with the Edmonton Public School Board, got wind of the Art in Public Places program through a co-worker who encouraged her to submit her piece. She had to read the congratulatory letter several times before she realized she had been selected.
“That was a huge honour, honestly. I entered, not even thinking I would be considered.”
She’s happy the public will enjoy the piece and hopes it’ll invoke thoughts and reflection for those who see it. She believes having it displayed will help bring more attention to the tragedy of residential schools.
“I think it’s important that people realise we lost a lot of babies, a lot of families were destroyed, and I just wanted to shed a little more light on that.”
The Art in Public Places Gallery is located between the Lion’s Mane and the Fort Saskatchewan Pottery Guild’s Studio in the Dow Centennial Centre.