Heather Benning
The Death of the Dollhouse: Fire #2, 2013
Kodak Endura digital C-print

The Dollhouse was created in 2007, during a Saskatchewan Arts Board artist-in-residence program at Redvers. Heather renovated the wooden house into a life-sized dollhouse, complete with vintage furnishings and a transparent wall on one side, so you could see the interior. In October 2012, the house began to show its age; the foundation was compromised. The house was meant to stand as long as it remained safe. In March 2013, The Dollhouse met its death with fire.


Bob Boyer
A Smallpox Issue, 1983
blanket, oil, rawhide

Bob Boyer grew up in Prince Albert and earned a bachelor of education degree from the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan in 1971. He worked in a number of education, art and community positions, including doing community programming at the MacKenzie Art Gallery until the mid-70s. He then became a fine arts professor at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, where he also acted as the head of the Department of Indian Fine Arts. 
Boyer began his visual arts career painting portraits and landscapes, but he is best known for his painted blankets, completed between 1983 and 1995. Using flannel blankets as the painting surface, he combined elements of Northern Plains geometric design with personal symbols and contemporary references to colonialism, environmental destruction and Indigenous culture. He referred to these pieces as “blanket statements.” In October 1983, Boyer painted A Smallpox Issue, his first blanket. It was heralded as an important new direction that was political, narrative, abstract and traditional, and is considered one of the Saskatchewan Arts Board Permanent Collection’s treasured art works. Boyer passed away in 2004.

Wally Dion
Starblanket, 2006
Printed circuit board, brass wire, acrylic paint, copper tubing

Wally Dion’s Starblanket is a First Nations star blanket fashioned from computer circuit boards. Dion recycles first world waste, using an iconic star pattern that references traditional Plains First Nations quilts and blankets. Playing with the concept of time and tradition, the piece stimulates discussion of how traditions are valued and interpreted within modern society. Its use of material and symbolism alludes to systems of connections and communication. The modern circuitry offers an updated representation of longstanding social networks, while at the same time speaking to empowerment through technology within First Nations communities. The unique piece is currently on display at the Cumberland Gallery in the Saskatchewan Legislative Building as part of the Arts Board’s 70th anniversary art exhibition.