Become a member

Get the best offers and updates relating to Liberty Case News.

― Advertisement ―


Oshawa at 100: A century of transformation

Oshawa is known for its diversity, hard working residents, schools and buildings and an appreciation for the arts. The region has gone through many...
HomeArtsOshawa-raised artist Raechel Wastesicoot shines a light on beadwork at the RMG

Oshawa-raised artist Raechel Wastesicoot shines a light on beadwork at the RMG

Raechel Wastesicoot works at the Nature Conservancy of Canada by day, but otherwise she is a beadwork artist who has opened her first exhibit at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) where she displays art through various methods of storytelling.

Wastesicoot has always had a connection to the RMG. She worked with them as a teenager and volunteered while she was taking journalism at Durham College.

The gallery offers a sneak peek at who Wastesicoot was growing up and some of her life experiences.

“As you work your way through it, you’ll see a lot of reflections of my childhood growing up,” she said. “But Oshawa, a lot of ups and downs there. But I feel like really what I was able to go through and the people that I’ve met and the pets that I had…animals being a huge part of my life.”

A brown frame with a white background. In the middle there are various colours. Next to is is a beadwork piece in a frame.
Wastesicoot's beadwork is featured on the right. Photo credit: Simran Deb

She worked with Erin Szikora who is the curator of the Raechel Wastesicoot: Kenatentas exhibition. Wastesicoot spoke about her experience working with her.

She said it was “really special for me to work hand in hand” with her friend who knew the gallery intimately.

Szikora said working with local artists is exciting and inspiring.

“You know with Raechel being local and having such a long-term relationship with the gallery, it feels like an exciting moment to invite our local community,” she said, “and her exhibition opening was a very large event and there was a great show of community there.”

Szikora says it’s important to have Wastesicoot’s artwork be put up in the museum.

“Indigenous beadwork for so long has not been seen as as a fine art and so that’s another element of this exhibition pairing,” said Szikora. “You know, contemporary Indigenous good work besides modern abstraction, which was also, you know, not readily accepted at the time that they were that they were producing it. It just felt like sort of an exciting contrast.”

Within Wastesicoot’s artwork there is a deep meaning of her culture behind each beadwork. She said it’s important to have a perspective of the Mohawk language within her art.

“Being so beautiful, and being so woven to the land, in which all my pieces and all my work is really deep and sustainable,” said Wastesicoot. “From, for and of the land is kind of the teaching that I follow for my beadwork, and I’d like to describe it that way. So sustainability and nature references are really deep within that work.”

The exhibit is open until June 9, 2024.