Paintings and poetry

Saskatoon spoken word artist Kevin Wesaquate performs at the Prince Albert Multicultural Council on Friday. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Spoken word artist Kevin Wesaquate unveils new art exhibit at Multicultural Council

Kevin Wesaquate says he hopes to set an example and inspire others to pick up a pen or a paintbrush and bring their work to an audience.

The Saskatoon-based spoken word artist performed at the Prince Albert Multicultural Council on Friday night at the opening reception for his latest collection of paintings. His works will remain on display until June 5.

It was the first time Wesaquate recited his poetry while surrounded by his art. He said the paintings provide a visual background for his words.

“I guess my words and my painting kind of go hand in hand. I’m always talking about the indigenous identity and what that really means to certain people,” he said.

“I don’t like to go into a painting and just paint a buffalo or a bear or prints within the smoke of a teepee. I like to kind of tell a story and show indigenous culture as much as I can and reflect upon my own being.”

In both his paintings and his poetry, Wesaquate’s statements seem to welcome a response from the audience, whether he’s discussing the representation of indigenous people in the media or humanity’s place in the world in general. He said a lot of his spoken work pieces were developed in the context of a competitive poetry slam, an interactive format in which the goal is to draw the greatest response from a live audience.

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