The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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171 Henry Avenue (1)    Location Map


Location: W side Austin bet. Henry and Higgins; East Face

Occupant: Astum Api Niikinaahk

District: City Centre

Neighbourhood: South Point Douglas

Artist(s): Arlea Ashcroft

Year: 2022

Sponsors: Wall to Wall Mural & Culture Festival, Synonym Art Consultation, Graffiti Art Programming, Signex Manufacturing


About the Artist: Arlea Ashcroft is an Indigenous French multi-disciplinary artist from Treaty 1 territory and the home of the Red River Metis. This self-taught artist has received local, national, and international exposure through publication, broadcast, and public presentation. Her work focuses on Indigenous and mixed blood identity, art as activism, the alchemy of mental health and female sexuality told through a punk rock aesthetic. Ashcroft's motivation to create is based on revealing personal truths, seeking connections to place, and self-preservation as survivalism. She is happiest out in the wilderness, fireside, camping under the stars.

About the Project:
Daina Warren, Lead Curator
: "Astum Api Niikinaahk is an Indigenous-led community housing project constructed on the grounds of the Circle of Life Thunderbird House in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Treaty 1 Territory. The intent of this entire project is to address and end homelessness. The Astum Api Niikinaahk project is also my curatorial work in which we invited five notable, local Indigenous artists, Arlea Ashcroft, Justin Bear, Roger Crait, Louis Vasquez, and Linus Woods to contribute to a public art series at this new housing site."

"Our knowledge keepers, elders, and cultural workers were all incredibly helpful in defining the scope of the curatorial vision. Committee sessions raised ideas and concepts related to the histories of this location, specifically those of the beings that lived in this locale before the urban landscape grew up around it. I was guided to look at artworks focused on the winged beings, the no legged, bear as a protector, as well as the tipi as it conceptually stands for the feminine and caring of community. I want to thank the partners on the project, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, End Homelessness, and Synonym Art Consultation for inviting me to be part of this incredible project. I am grateful to have worked with the committee to consider how art can positively contribute to the diverse community of the Thunderbird House location and this unique housing initiative."

Source: Wall to Wall, 2022