1080 Keewatin St,
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T7

202-04-19-Jim Oshkineegish-Webbanner

Jim Oskineegish: Keep Yourself Alive

June 21 – September 15, 2024

Summer Party Opening Reception: Saturday, June 22 at 2:00 pm


Keep Yourself Alive is the debut exhibition by Jim Oskineegish, a second-generation Woodland artist from Eabametoong First Nation (Fort Hope). Curated by Caitlyn Bird, Jim’s paintings fuse personal stories with Woodland, Surrealism, and Pop Art. This exhibition of thirteen portraits is a love letter to his heroes.

In 2010, after a major surgery and a long recovery, Jim experienced painful memories from his childhood, specifically the abuse and trauma he endured as a Sixties Scoop survivor. In his My Hero Series, he portrays his childhood heroes including 1980s rock stars like Jimi Hendrix and Freddie Mercury and movie stars such as Bruce Lee and Chief Dan George. His portraits also pay homage to family and friends, like his late brother, Robert Kowalow. For Jim, these heroes have qualities of strength and bravery and provided comfort and inspiration for keeping yourself alive.

Image: Jim Oskineegish, Eddie Van Halen, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019

This exhibition is a part of Under the Sun: Summer Party

Audience Advisory

Please be aware that this exhibition includes traumatic content, including references to residential schools, child abuse, the Sixties Scoop, systemic racism, intergenerational trauma, substance abuse, and suicide.

This content will be difficult for viewers. We urge you to take care in viewing this exhibition.

For anyone at risk, the following organizations are here to help:
Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre

Dilico Anishnabek Family Care

CMHA: Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay District Health Unit

Image 1: Jim Oskineegish, Eddie Van Halen, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019

Image 2: Jim Oskineegish, The Suffering, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019

Image 3: Jim Oskineegish, Tony Esposito, Acrylic on Canvas, 2018

Image 4 :Jim Oskineegish, My Hero Robert Kowalow, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019

Image 5: Jim Oskineegish, White Thunder Bird – Honoring Rainbow Thunderbird Mark Anthony Jacobson, Acrylic on Canvas, 2007

Image 6: Jim Oskineegish, A Brave Man – Evel Knievel, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019