Regina artist Sherry Farrell Racette creates vivid portrayals of Metis history and contemporary "portraits" of the Prairies. She was born in Manitoba but has lived in Saskatchewan for many years. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Education from the University of Regina. Farrell Racette is a member of the Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec and is currently enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program at the University of Manitoba.
As a scholar and educator, Farrell Racette knows the importance of books as educational and artistic contributions for Metis and First Nations communities. This exhibition brings together a selection of images created for three publications over more than a decade. Originally produced in 1985 as a special project to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Riel Resistance of 1885, The Flower Beadwork People was written and illustrated by Farrell Racette. At the time, she was a teacher at the Gabriel Dumont Institute in Regina where the book was published in 1991. In 1995, Farrell Racette collaborated with Metis author and filmmaker, Maria Campbell, on the book, Stories of the Road Allowance People. For this publication, the artist depicted focal elements from the stories that were translated by Campbell from Mitchif, the Metis language. Most recently, Farrell Racette used astronomy books to research her images for the book, Wisahkecahk Flies to the Moon (1999), written in Cree and in English by Freda Ahenakew, an acclaimed Cree linguist and author. A painted fabric book created for this exhibition attests further to Farrell Racette's art practice within the narrative tradition.
Lee-Ann Martin, Adjunct Curator, First Nations Art