Mary Ann Penashue: Ninan Nitassinan (Our Land)
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce Ninan Nitassinan (Our Land), an exhibition of new paintings by Mary Ann Penashue. The exhibition will open with an artist reception on Friday, Nov. 3 from 6–8pm, and will continue until Nov. 25. Music at the opening reception will be provided by Boyd Chubbs.
Mary Ann Penashue will also be giving an artist talk and tour in the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 3–4pm.
Mary Ann Penashue’s paintings are a window into Innu life. Her vibrant canvases map the diversity and uniqueness she observes among the approximately 1,950 citizens in her community, Sheshatshiu Innu Nation, a reserve 40 kilometres north of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Penashue’s suite of new works created for the 2023 Bonavista Biennale are an important contribution, enabling viewers to acknowledge nearby places, which they may not have encountered or understand.
Penashue’s work calls attention to the resonance between the people and the land, and the land to the people. Each portrait elevates Innu presence, survival and resilience, more than often absent from mainstream society. They are an invitation to celebrate the important history and relations throughout Ninan Nitassinan (our land).
Mary Ann Penashue is an Innu painter born on Birch Island near Goose Bay, Labrador, and residing in Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Raised by her grandparents in a small village called Mud Lake, Penashue learned from them Innu culture and traditions. Having been an active art maker for over twenty-five years, Mary Ann has been commissioned by several organizations throughout Labrador and Quebec to paint images of Tshenut, and has immortalized the faces of the Elders in approximately 500 art works.
In 2007 Mary Ann was named “Emerging Artist of the Year” by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. In 2011, she was accepted into the Ottawa School of Art Fine Art Diploma program graduating in 2016, and in 2015 she was awarded the Lillian Raport Memorial Scholarship, in recognition of artistic achievement and expression of life through visual arts.
Mary Ann Penashue’s work has been exhibited throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Ontario, and she has been showcased at the Northern Lights Show in Ottawa. In 2023, she was a participating artist in the Bonavista Biennale. Her work is found in the collections of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, the Provincial Art Bank Collection, BMO St. John’s, IDLP (Innu Development Limited Partnership), and the Band Council of Sheshatshiu, as well as many private collections in Canada, the USA and the UK.