Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - The Project

Art for the Tawatina Bridge

I am honoured to be selected by the City of Edmonton to create art for the new LRT Bridge (opening fall of 2019). With the assistance of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists in Edmonton and Regina, and with the council of First Nations and Métis knowledge keepers in Edmonton, I am producing 400 acrylic paintings for the Tawatina Bridge. They are on shaped Dibond panels that will be attached to the ceiling below the LRT and above the pedestrian walk-way. The paintings will have Métis and First Nations themes and styles relating to material culture in the collection of the Royal Alberta Museum; the plants and animals of the River; but also the stories of the region entrusted to me.

I am looking for suggestions from Indigenous people who lived or live in the region. What stories need to be told? I am also looking for thoughts and ideas from non-Indigenous people who have a close connection with the River Valley. For example, I would like to include images/stories from the carvings that were part of the previous bridge. Do you have a memory to share?

Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - The Art

In the studio

Before painting, I consult with elders; research online, in libraries, at the Royal Alberta Museum, etc. Then I create designs for the shaped panels. The panels are cut off-site. In this studio, at the University of Regina (pictured), my assistants sand and gesso each panel, and do some under-painting. In the studio next door, I come up with the interior designs and paint them.

In the studio

Before painting, I consult with elders; research online, in libraries, at the Royal Alberta Museum, etc. Then I create designs for the shaped panels. The panels are cut off-site. In this studio, at the University of Regina (pictured), my assistants sand and gesso each panel, and do some under-painting. In the studio next door, I come up with the interior designs and paint them.

Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - map of Edmonton painting
Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - acrylic paintings on round material
Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - painting of a medicine stone and vase
Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - beaver cutout with Hudson Bay blanket painting
Tawatina Bridge Art Project by David Garneau - The artist
Picture of the artist David Garneau

David Garneau

David Garneau (Métis) is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He was born and raised in Edmonton, received a BFA in Painting and Drawing, and an MA in American Literature from the University of Calgary. He taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design (2003-1999) before moving to Regina in 1999.

Garneau’s art appears in the collections of The Canadian History Museum; the Canadian Parliament buildings; Indian and Inuit Art Collection; the NONAM museum, Zurich; the Musée de la civilisation, Montreal; Glenbow Museum; Mackenzie Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery; Dunlop Art Gallery; City of Calgary; the SaskArts Board; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; Paul Martin foundation; and numerous private collections.

Garneau has curated numerous large and small exhibitions: The End of the World (as we know it); Picture Windows: New Abstraction; Transcendent Squares; Contested Histories; Making it Like a Man!, Graphic Visions, TEXTiles. He recently co-curated (with Michelle LaVallee) Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, an exhibition concerning the legacies of Indian Residential Schools, other forms of aggressive assimilation, and (re)conciliation, at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, and With Secrecy and Despatch (with Tess Allas), an international exhibition about massacres of Indigenous people, and memorialization, for the Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney, Australia. 

Garneau has written numerous catalogue essays and reviews and was a co-founder and co-editor of Artichoke and Cameo magazines. He has recently given talks in Australia, the United States, and throughout Canada. He is currently working on curatorial projects in Sydney and New York, and is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded, curatorial research project, “Creative Conciliation.”