Celebrating Community Successes

By:  Wendy McLeod
August, 2022
Issue: 67

Art Exhibition Highlights Struggle of Self-Acceptance

A piece from 'Evolving' by Melville artist Faith Rae. The exhibition will be on display in Yorkton in September and October. Photo Credit: Faith Rae's Art Facebook Page
An expression of emotional turmoil is how a Melville artist describes her art exhibition that will be on display in Yorkton.

Visual artist Faith Rae was recognized by SK Arts, formally the Saskatchewan Arts Board, for her thesis exhibition 'Evolving' which she says helped her to come out publicly as queer. 

“I just think that art is a very expressive form and is allows me to express my emotions. What 'Evolving' encapsulates and summaries is that I’ve had emotional turmoil about my identity, and it was important to come to terms with self-acceptance. In a lot of the pieces, I talk about emotional turmoil, the anxiety, depression, shame. And then there’s self-acceptance”
'Evolving' will be on display at the Yorkton Art Gallery in September and October. Photo Credit: Faith Rae's Art Facebook Page.
That self-acceptance allowed Rae to reconnect with her childhood and family heirlooms. “My family is very supportive, and I wanted to acknowledge them in my show. I was very open to experimentation, and it ended up working out in the show.”

Rae graduated with her 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Brandon University. SK Arts awarded her with the $2,500 Prince Edwards Art Scholarship and highlighted ‘Evolving’ during Pride Month this past June.

“It was immensely great for tuition and everything. When Pride Month came, someone from SK Arts contacted me and wanted to recognize me on their social media pages. I was very grateful for that and I was very excited about it for sure.”

Rae explains that moving forward with her work, she wants to collaborate more with other artists in the LGBTQIA2S+ community saying she hopes to be a "role model" and support queer youth. 

The traveling exhibition is currently in Portage la Prairie but will be at the Yorkton Art Gallery in September and October.
‘Evolving’ isn’t Rae’s first exhibition. Last year Rae’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and Rae found art helped her cope with it during her final year of school.

“I did an exhibition called ‘No One Fights Alone’ and it’s a collaboration between my mom and I. Just her experiences and my experiences put together in paintings. I ended up showing this work in rural Manitoba near where I went to school and where my mom is originally from.”

Rae’s family moved to Melville roughly 14 years ago and she hopes to show ‘No One Fights Alone’ locally.

Up next for Rae is teaching classes for kids at the Yorkton Art Gallery. She will also be doing a class and artist talk when the ‘Evolving’ exhibition is on display locally. As for long-term goals, Rae wants to get her Art Therapy Degree and open up a business in the rural area that would consist of classes and types of therapy related to art.

“That’s the end goal. But I do want to further myself by creating different work. I don’t know what that is going to look like yet. It really depends how you are feeling at that moment then an event happens, so your mind changes about things.”
A painting by Faith Rae that is part of her 'No One Fights Alone' exhibition. Photo Credit: Faith Rae's Art Facebook Page.

Parkland Valley Sport Culture and Recreation District is a non-profit voluntary organization working with communities building capacity and creating a strong network of support through sport, culture and recreation.

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