By Tawla Jaad —
The Patrick McGuire exhibit opened at the Haida Gwaii Museum July 10th. The moving exhibit showcases the art of the late Patrick McGuire and was curated by Patrick’s niece, Michaela McGuire.
McGuire was born in Skidegate in 1943 and passed away in 1970, at the young age of 27. He was born with an unmistakable talent and practiced Haida art in many mediums, including argillite and watercolor. He grew up in Skidegate without Indian status and left for Vancouver at age 19, where he continued to constantly create art.
The show features intricate watercolor paintings, argillite jewelry, and pole figurines, as well as personal items, such as polaroid photos, carving tools and a sketchbook.
A common theme within McGuire’s paintings feature a single canoe, unoccupied. Curator Michaela McGuire stated, “Through his art he portrayed a certain loneliness, sadness for a culture that had been silenced. The feelings of an outsider looking in- like his images of lone canoes drifting in the ocean. Patrick’s struggle with personal identity is portrayed in his work beautifully; his emotions come through each line of paint.”