OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/14/12 -- His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will host a ceremony to unveil the portrait of Mr. John Ralston Saul, spouse of the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th governor general of Canada, on Monday, December 17, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., at Rideau Hall.
The Governor General, Mr. Saul and portrait artist Kent Monkman will deliver remarks on this occasion.
Mr. Saul commissioned Kent Monkman, a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry now living in Toronto, to paint his portrait. Mr. Monkman has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Hamilton. A giant mural of his welcomes visitors to the new Canadian wing of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; he was also the featured artist at the Toronto Art Fair, in 2011. The full biography of the artist is attached.
Once unveiled, Mr. Saul will give his portrait to all Canadians by donating it to the Crown Collection of the Official Residences, which is managed and curated by the NCC.
Collecting portraits of spouses of former governors general is a long-standing tradition. The idea of a portrait gallery at Rideau Hall was first formulated around 1898, by Lady Aberdeen-wife of then-governor general Lord of Aberdeen-and became reality when Lord Grey (governor general 1904-1911) began writing to his predecessors or their families to ask if they could donate a portrait for the viceregal residence. At first, this collection was mainly focused on past governors general, but it soon included portraits of spouses. This portrait of a spouse or former governor general will be Rideau Hall's first by an Aboriginal artist.
Unlike the official portraits of former governors general, which are commissioned by the National Capital Commission (NCC), the spouses' portraits are usually gifts from the former governor general's family or from the spouse directly. Therefore, not all spouses have a portrait at Rideau Hall.
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Biography of Kent Monkman
Kent Monkman is a filmmaker, illustrator and visual artist who began his exploration of the arts as a painter. The artist is a member of the Fisher River Band, in northern Manitoba, and is of Swampy Cree and English/Irish descent. Raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he currently works and lives in Toronto.
His work is inspired by his Aboriginal heritage and deals with the impact of Christianity on Indigenous peoples around the world. At the age of 17, he decided to study illustration through a commercial art program at Sheridan College, in Oakville. From there, he went on to train as an artist in various institutions in Canada and the United States: The Banff Centre, Alberta (1992); Sundance Institute, Los Angeles (1998); and the Canadian Screen Training Institute (2001).
Kent Monkman has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Art; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, in Toronto; the Winnipeg Art Gallery; and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
His work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Museum London; the Glenbow Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; the Mackenzie Art Gallery; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian; and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
He is represented by Galerie Florent Tosin, in Berlin, by the Trepanier Baer Gallery, in Calgary, and by Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain, in Montreal.
Rideau Hall Press Office
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