Beautiful images depicting Mi’kmaq culture and traditions created by local Mi’kmaq artist, Loretta Gould, are now on display for all to enjoy at Halifax Stanfield.
Earlier this month, in recognition of Mi’kmaq History Month, a new, permanent display featuring twenty-four of Gould’s original artwork designs was installed at the airport. The artwork, located on windows throughout the airport check-in hall, features images of a traditional birchbark canoe, fishing, and spiritual ceremonies, to name a few.
The display reminds everyone that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded land of the Mi’kmaq people, by showcasing traditional Mi’kmaq art.
“I’ve always had art in my life; when I grew up, I wanted to be a fashion designer,” said Gould, reflecting on how she became an artist. “I started with quilting but then I was drawn to painting instead at the Friends United Art Gallery. That was 12 years ago and the pieces you see at the airport were all created over time. My hope is that people coming in and out of the airport have the same feeling seeing my work that I had when I created it – I hope it makes them happy.”
The semi-transparent material used to display the artwork allows the sun to shine through, and in the afternoon, the artwork creates colourful reflections throughout the check-in hall.
Gould’s natural talent and passion for sharing Mi’kmaq culture through her art also shines through as she reflects on today’s unveiling of her art for the world. “Seeing my art come to life in this way brings me a lot of joy.”
“This airport is located on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Mi’kmaq people, and as such, it is our duty to honour the stewards of these lands who were here for generations before us,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. “As a key gateway for the region, our airport often makes a first impression for visitors and travellers. We want to make sure that impression reflects the diverse communities we serve.”
HIAA is committed to reconciliation and has been taking steps to be a better ally to Indigenous communities and partners. HIAA will continue to showcase Mi’kmaq art, history, and culture at the airport, through ongoing collaboration with the 2023 North American Indigenous Games, Mi’kmaq community members and other partners.
For an overview of Loretta Gould’s pieces on display in the airport, visit https://halifaxstanfield.ca/airport-authority/community/art-at-the-airport/gould-collection/.