Art Windsor-Essex respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Anishinaabe Territory – the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Today the Anishinaabe of the Three Fires Confederacy are represented by Bkejwanong. We want to state our respect for the ancestral and ongoing authority of Walpole Island First Nation over its Territory.
A River That Separates? Imaging the Detroit River, 1804–2001
January 12, 2013 - March 31, 2013
Edward Walsh, A View of Detroit and the Straits, taken from the Huron Church, June 22nd 1804, 1804, colour reproduction on paper, 43.0 cm x 32.0 cm, Gift of Mrs. D. Maitland Irwin, 1977
Drawn from the AGW collection, A River That Separates? brings together a varied group of artist’s perspectives of the Detroit River over the past 200 years. From renderings by British colonialists hired to map the border, to marine imagery of the river’s role in international trade, to scenes of the river in urban development, the Detroit River has continually been a compelling subject for artists. Their cumulative stories demonstrate how the river has been both an important international border and water route that joins, as much as it separates, our two nations. These artists have created a visual world connected by the river, and their views encourage audiences to recast and reconsider the historical divisions of space we have created in the past – such as our nationalized histories of ‘Canadian art’ and ‘American art,’ for example – and to see this river-border as a zone of its own that contests such divisions against lived experience.