By: Douglas Buist
Street art is slowly becoming more popular. It is a creative way for artists to express themselves in public spaces with mediums like spray paint and sidewalk chalk. One artist being recognized for his street art is Indigenous artist Jesse Gouchey. Jesse is a Métis artist with family from Alberta and Quebec. He now resides in Calgary and works with youth.
Jesse’s Indigenous art is nature based and is made to bring awareness to the many social issues facing the Indigenous population of Canada. In the recent years, Jesse began to use his murals to create short animated films. He has produced several, but his most famous is the Spirit of the Bluebird animation. It was made to raise awareness about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW). It is still far to common to see Indigenous women devalued and marginalized by the legal system and ignored by society.
Murals and animations are not Jesse’s only work, however. His clothing has been featured in, and will appear again, at the Otahpiaaki Indigenous Beauty Fashion & Design week on November 5th-10th. In June of 2017, he worked alongside the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY), where he helped put on, A Warriors Journey: Then and Now. This story tells of the healing journey of a residential school survivor. Jesse was applauded for providing the artwork which included the body paint of several youth volunteers. Jesse’s transition to youth activism is important, as the population of Indigenous youth is ever increasing. It will be interesting to see what this talented artist will do for Indigenous youth in the years to come. For your tickets, please visit otahpiaaki.com