"Dancing on a Table"
Fred McDonald, "Dancing on a Table," 2000, acrylic on canvas, 5.5' x 8'.
By Jennifer MacLeod and Shannon Heth
Fred McDonald's Our Spirit World series, on view at VisionQuest Gallery in Calgary, is composed of four vibrant canvases rich with spiritual symbols, dazzling skies and mystical ghosted imagery. Each painting represents a stage in the life cycle of birth, growth, cleansing and death. The series is the artist's first move to large canvases but, says McDonald, "I've always thought big.â" Originally from Fort McKay First Nations in northern Alberta, McDonald was a pipefitter for more than a decade but quit in 1990. He enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts photography program at the University of Calgary. After seeing a show by aboriginal artist Arthur Schilling, he chose painting instead. This spring, McDonald attained his Master of Fine Arts and is unveiling a book entitled, Ancestral Portraits: The Colour of My People. In addition to 76 of his paintings, the book contains McDonald's account of his journey of self-discovery. A book launch and show of McDonald's work begins May 25, 2002, at VisionQuest Gallery, second level, Crossroads Market, 1235 - 26 Avenue SE, Calgary.
McDonald also shows at Artworks Gallery in Fort McMurray, 9904B Franklin Avenue.