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

Visitors to Thunder Bay Art Gallery enjoy the travelling exhibitions we host each year, but did you know we organize and tour exhibitions to galleries in other communities?


Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine

Curated by Leanna and Jean Marshall

This commemorative art exhibition presents artwork by the Gustafson family: Shannon, Ryan, Justine, and Jade. This exhibition honours their son and brother, Piitwewetam (Rolling Thunder), also known as the late Jesse Gustafson who travelled to the spirit world after a car accident in 2015.

Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine is an offering from the Gustafson family to each of us. As an Anishnaabe family the act of giving is an integral part of their life. Gifts are offered out of kindness, out of love. To give is to simply offer without the expectation of receiving something in return. When we give, we are enacting a sacred law that acknowledges life. With Anishnaabe tradition, a part of the grief ceremony is gifting. This beautiful exhibition is acknowledging all of the good life, including relationships, teachings, singing, and dancing that Jesse experienced when he was here on Earth. Each piece in this exhibition will be gifted to friends and family. These gifts come from kindness, from a deep love that honours Piitwewetam.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Feb 25 – Nov 21, 2021

Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (M’Chigeeng, ON)

Feb 7 – May 23, 2022

The Muse – Douglas Family Art Centre (Kenora, ON)

Sept 24, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023

All My Relations Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)

April 13 – June 15, 2023

Justine Gustafson, First Portrait, 20 x 15 inches, velveteen, felt, seed beads, 2020.

Justine Gustafson, First Portrait, 20 x 15 inches, velveteen, felt, seed beads, 2020.

Piitwewetam, Thunder Bay Art Gallery

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Curated by Caitlyn Bird

Dakobinaawaswaan (Baby in a Cradleboard) gathers more than 150 cradleboards representing Indigenous communities from across Turtle Island. In the language of Aninishaabeg peoples, dakobinaawaswaan describes a baby being wrapped and placed in a cradleboard, or tikinagaan. This exhibition showcases the strong legacy and beauty of traditional baby carriers — including miniatures, toy cradles and baskets — of the many Indigenous communities across North America. Through a wide range of imagery, beadwork, and specialized materials the cradleboard is honoured as a vessel of motherhood, cultural traditions, community, and resurgence.

Brought together by Shirley Stevens and the Cradle Keeper Co-operative of Northwestern Ontario, this exhibition is dedicated to the late Freda McDonald, the Elder for this initiative, who encouraged the project from the beginning.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Feb 26 – Sept 12, 2021

Lake of the Woods Museum (Kenora)

March 15 – June 8, 2022


Nowegijick family Tikinagaan, Paul Shonias Kiaashke Zaaging (Gull Bay First Nation)

Nowegijick family Tikinagaan, Paul Shonias, Kiaashke Zaaging (Gull Bay First Nation)

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21 Pillows

Cheryl Wilson-Smith

21 PILLOWS highlights Cheryl Wilson-Smith’s dedication to glass and glassmaking techniques which she has explored with passion from her studio in Red Lake, ON. The exhibition is an important milestone in this regional artist’s creative practice.

The success of 21 PILLOWS at Thunder Bay Art Gallery (Dec 2018 – Mar 2019) inspired us to tour the exhibition to other Ontario galleries.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Dec 13, 2018 – Mar 3, 2019

Ottawa School of Art

Sept 6 – Oct 19, 2019

Art Gallery of Sudbury

Jan 16 – March 22, 2020

The Muse – Douglas Family Art Centre (Kenora)

Sept 1 – Dec 24, 2020

Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery (Waterloo)

May 29 – Sept 11, 2022

21 Pillows (detail), Cheryl Wilson-Smith, Thunder Bay Art Gallery

21 Pillows, Cheryl Wilson-Smith, Thunder Bay Art Gallery


UPRISING: The Power of Mother Earth

Christi Belcourt with Isaac Murdoch

UPRISING: The Power of Mother Earth, co-produced by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Carleton University Art Gallery, is the first retrospective show of works by Michif artist Christi Belcourt. The show is drawn from private and public collections and included works from our Permanent Collection. It reflects more than 25 years of creative endeavour by one of Canada’s most popular contemporary artists. Collaborative works created with artist-knowledge keeper Isaac Murdoch are also included in the exhibition. During its time at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, over 11,000 people viewed this significant exhibition, making it one of our most popular shows ever.

Visitors to UPRISING will remember the very large canvases that filled all three of our galleries. Sharing artworks of this size is complicated, but we are proud to say that Belcourt’s exceptional canvases have been enjoyed in galleries across Canada.


Thunder Bay Art Gallery

June 21 – Nov 25, 2018

Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa)

Jan 21 – April 28, 2019

Musée d’art de Joliette (Joliette, QC)

Jun 8 – Sept 8 , 2019

MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina)

Nov 16, 2019 – Mar 22, 2020

Art Gallery of Guelph

Jul 7 – Oct 11, 2020

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Oct 24, 2020 – Apr 19, 2021


The Conversation
Christi Belcourt
acrylic on canvas
137 x 137 cm
Collection of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program/Oeuvre achetée avec l’aide du programme d’aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des arts du Canada and the Friends of Yvonne McRae, in her memory.

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