Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy


Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy

Closing Reception September 18th, 5pm
July 1st to September 18th, 2019.

180 Projects is pleased to invite you to the closing reception and celebration for Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy, an exhibition of paintings from this nationally renowned artist. 180 Projects is very proud to be presenting this touring exhibition organized by the Temiskaming Art Gallery.

Originally from Temagami First Nation, Benjamin Chee Chee (March 26, 1944 – March 14, 1977) first captivated Canada’s contemporary Indigenous art scene with his 1973 exhibition at the Nicholas Art Gallery exhibition in Ottawa, Ontario.
During his four years as a full-time professional visual artist in Montreal and Ottawa, Chee Chee’s work was prolific and disparate, ranging from his iconic ‘Friends’ and ‘Benji birds’ to his less generally familiar abstracts.

At this time, Indigenous artists across Canada had begun to make their voices heard in galleries in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and beyond. Chee Chee united himself with trailblazing artists such as Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, and Alex Janvier.

“Chee Chee found a ready audience for his unique art, albeit an audience that typically view “Indian Art” within a racial discourse, separate from mainstream Canadian art. Chee Chee and his compatriot artists routinely struggled to resist deeply entrenched stereotypical categorizations held by the art world.” Carmen Robertson writes in her essay, “The Making of a Movement: Chee Chee and Trailblazing Artists of the 1960’s and 1970’s,” included in the accompanying catalogue.
Tragically, his life ended in 1977.
This exhibition comprises a comprehensive selection of Chee Chee’s works, gathered from galleries and individuals across the province. The exhibition presents a personal perspective, honouring the artist’s life and work through collaborations, including those with close friends.

180 Projects thanks the Temiskaming Art Gallery, and curator Felicity Buckell, for organizing this exhibition and connecting with friends, family, and community members to collect stories of this young, vital artist. We also thank Heritage Canada and the Ontario Arts Council for their support of this special exhibition.

Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy was be on display at 180 Projects from July 1st to September 15th, 2019.

A series of workshops and events were held throughout the run of the exhibition.
Find 180 Projects on Facebook and instagram for further updates on workshops and programming.

For more information please contact Andrea Pinheiro at oneeightyprojects@gmail.com or at 705-297-7634.

Closing Reception September 18th, 7pm
July 1st to September 18th, 2019.

180 Projects is pleased to invite you to the closing reception and celebration for Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy, an exhibition of paintings from this nationally renowned artist. 180 Projects is very proud to be presenting this touring exhibition organized by the Temiskaming Art Gallery.
Originally from Temagami First Nation, Benjamin Chee Chee (March 26, 1944 – March 14, 1977) first captivated Canada’s contemporary Indigenous art scene with his 1973 exhibition at the Nicholas Art Gallery exhibition in Ottawa, Ontario.
During his four years as a full-time professional visual artist in Montreal and Ottawa, Chee Chee’s work was prolific and disparate, ranging from his iconic ‘Friends’ and ‘Benji birds’ to his less generally familiar abstracts.
At this time, Indigenous artists across Canada had begun to make their voices heard in galleries in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and beyond. Chee Chee united himself with trailblazing artists such as Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, and Alex Janvier.
“Chee Chee found a ready audience for his unique art, albeit an audience that typically view “Indian Art” within a racial discourse, separate from mainstream Canadian art. Chee Chee and his compatriot artists routinely struggled to resist deeply entrenched stereotypical categorizations held by the art world.” Carmen Robertson writes in her essay, “The Making of a Movement: Chee Chee and Trailblazing Artists of the 1960’s and 1970’s,” included in the accompanying catalogue.
Tragically, his life ended in 1977.
This exhibition comprises a comprehensive selection of Chee Chee’s works, gathered from galleries and individuals across the province. The exhibition presents a personal perspective, honouring the artist’s life and work through collaborations, including those with close friends.
180 Projects thanks the Temiskaming Art Gallery, and curator Felicity Buckell, for organizing this exhibition and connecting with friends, family, and community members to collect stories of this young, vital artist. We also thank Heritage Canada and the Ontario Arts Council for their support of this special exhibition.
Benjamin Chee Chee: Life and Legacy will be on display at 180 Projects from July 1st to September 15th, 2019.

A series of workshops and events were held throughout the run of the exhibition.

Find 180 Projects on Facebook and instagram for further updates on workshops and programming.