Indigenous woodland artist paints mural at PFFNHS
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
With help from some students, Indigenous woodland artist Saul Williams painted a large mural in the front foyer of Pelican Falls First Nations High School (PFFNHS) from Nov. 4 to 9.
According to www.askart.com his bio reads, “He was born in North Caribou Lake, Ontario, Canada. He has also lived in Weagamow (1963) and in Sioux Lookout....His mediums are acrylic, silkscreen, watercolor, charcoal, ink, linocut and lithograph. His subjects are myths, legends, symbolism, native spirits, birds, fish and an animal…His work is in many private collections. It is also in the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum; the McMichael Canadian Art Collection; the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Gatineau, Quebec); New College, University of Toronto; the Woodland Cultural Centre (Brantford, Ontario); and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery (Ontario).”
When asked about the mural, PFFNHS Principal Solomon Kakagamic shared, at that time, that the painting isn’t done yet, but he’s happy with the work so far and how he used students too.
“It’s not quite finished yet, so he’s going to be coming back. I’m very happy with it though, and he was even here a couple years ago. He did a painting for us that we have in the library, and students helped him with that one too,” said Kakagamic.
When asked about the week he spent painting the mural, Williams shared that he enjoyed the experience, and he was happy to have the kids help too.
PFFNHS native studies teacher Lynnette Martin-Paulichenko explained how Williams was able to incorporate students and faculty into the mural.
“He stayed late on Monday and primed the wall space. We got a projector the next day and he actually outlined students’ profiles for the characters in the painting. One of the students he used is actually his granddaughter and he also used Solomon Kakagamic for one of the characters too,” she concluded.