Former Sweetgrass resident wins prestigious award

A former resident of Sweetgrass First Nation recently earned a prestigious award as the University of Lethbridge celebrated its 2020 Spring Convocation. Kylie Fineday (BFA - Art, with a major in Art Studio) won the Faculty of Fine Arts Gold Medal for her work over the course of her degree.

Her award was for consistently presenting a remarkable level of professionalism, compassion and creative engagement while maintaining top academic standing, Acording to the university’s website, throughout her time at uLethbridge, Fineday produced ambitious and creative research projects, curated art exhibitions, participated in professional internships at renowned art galleries, volunteered in the community and developed a confident voice that speaks for her values. She has also received many awards including the prestigious Roloff Beny Foundation Photographic Award (2019), Abbondànza Fine Arts Award (2018), the Indigenous Art History and Museum Studies Award (2018), and Art History/Museum Studies Gallery Award (2018), to name a few.

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“Kylie possesses the acumen, skill and passion to establish herself as a successful arts’ professional. She will undoubtedly strengthen Indigenous voices across Canada, amplify their cultural practices and advocate for social justice for all,” states the website.

“I hope to maintain my art studio practice and to exhibit my work in different capacities, and to continue developing a curatorial practice as well. Eventually I would like to pursue a master's degree. I also hope to be a positive role model for Indigenous youth and encourage them to pursue their passions,” says Fineday in a Q an A on the website.

In her artist’s statement, she says, “I am a nehiyaw artist from Sweetgrass First Nation, Saskatchewan. My art practice involves a variety of media and addresses a range subject matter from the deeply personal to the political. I share personal thoughts, emotions, and anecdotes with honesty and vulnerability. I share experiences from my family history to confront intergenerational trauma as a result of systemic colonial forces. I express the complications of having the desire to protect the environment while also being complicit in systems that contribute to its destruction. I also engage with current political discourse relating to issues that affect Indigenous peoples.

“My material practice includes drawing, beadwork, performance, installation, photography, and video. I am in my final year of the Art Studio program and recently completed an Undergraduate Thesis in which I focused on drawing, resulting in my solo exhibition, askîy iskwew, held last December.”

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