CULTURAL GOODS GALLERY PRESENTS MOHAWK WARRIORS, HUNTERS & CHIEFS/ THE ART OF TOM WILSON TEHOHÁHAKE
Official art book launch and exhibition opening February 2
Coming to Cultural Goods Gallery this February, Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs will explore the personal story of Juno Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician and performer, Tom Wilson Tehoháhake. This specially organized exhibition presents a selection of works created between 2015 and 2024, and celebrates the launch of Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs, a ground-breaking bilingual book that explores the paintings and iconography of Tom Wilson. In his early fifties, Tehoháhake accidentally discovered that he was adopted and that he was Mohawk from Kahnawake.
“There’s blood memory that happened in my art. I’ve been painting really simple images since 1997. Even with a lack of identity, I was still expressing myself as an Indigenous artist, or as a Mohawk. And sure enough, now that I know that I’m a Mohawk, that sense of identity that I was lacking is now coming completely into focus in the work that I do,” says Tom Wilson Tehoháhake.
The exhibition organized by esteemed curator David Liss, will highlight Tehoháhake’s unbelievable journey of family secrets, personal identity and resolution. The artworks consist of faces and masks vaguely resembling those of certain Indigenous cultures or perhaps beings from some other realm. They look at once ancient and futuristic. These are the warriors, hunters, chiefs, tricksters and shamans; the characters and figures that embody myths and legends of the past and the future; the stories that connect Tehoháhake to his culture and his place in the universe.
On view Friday, February 2 through February, Feb. 17, Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs features a free public book launch and artist talk on Saturday February 3, 2024 from 2pm-5pm. The art book, published by Goose Lane Editions in both English and Mohawk, showcases over 35 full-colour images of Tom Wilson Tehoháhake’s work. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, and guitars decorated with iconography inspired by beadwork. The art pieces also reflect on Tom’s upbringing in Hamilton, where he only had hints and dreams about his identity. The book includes an interview with Ryan McMahon on Tom’s artistic process, along with essays by Tom and curator David Liss, providing a comprehensive exploration of Tom Wilson Tehoháhake’s art and Mohawk identity.
Tom Wilson comes from a long storytelling tradition, and he has lived his life as a storyteller. The artwork featured in this exhibition is another chapter in his story.
Cultural Goods Gallery is located at 1444 Dupont St Unit 15, Toronto.
For more information including gallery hours visit www.culturalgoodsgallery.com. About Tom Wilson Tehoháhake
Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Tom Wilson Tehoháhake is a multidisciplinary artist working in music, songwriting, literature and contemporary art. In 2023 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his multifaceted contributions to the arts, notably as an iconic musician, as well as for his advocacy of Indigenous communities in Canada.
Tom has been drawing, painting and creating visual art since the mid-1990s. Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs is the first publication dedicated to his visual art practice.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, David Liss is a curator, writer and artist currently living in Toronto. From 2000 to 2020 he was Director, Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. From 1995 to 2000 he was Director and Curator of the Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts in Montreal. During the early 1990s he contributed art and music reviews to the Montreal Gazette, Vice, Canadian Art, and other publications. Since the late 1980s he has organized, curated, written texts and essays, published books and developed interdisciplinary programs for numerous exhibitions and projects in Toronto, Montreal, and venues across Canada and internationally.
In 2018 David curated the exhibition Beautiful Scars: Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs at the Art Gallery of Burlington, which was also presented at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery in 2020.
About Cultural Goods Gallery
Founded in 2022 by Kim Newport-Mimran and Joe Mimran, Cultural Goods Gallery is a hub for creative and artistic expression. Located in Toronto’s west side, the 2,500 sq ft ground floor exhibition space is equipped for experiential, immersive, and interactive artworks and creative projects. A rotating exhibition schedule will nurture relationships with the local arts community, as well as present work that has contributed to the growth of the North American cultural scene.