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Item Name: Painting
Title: Story of a Prairie Rose
Maker: Sherry Farrell Racette
Year: 1993
Country: Canadian
Materials: gouache on paper
Measurements: overall: 76 cm x 94 cm
ID Number: PC96.1

Extended Label Info: There are several “prairie roses” in this painting: the young Métis woman, the embroidered and beaded flowers of her dress, and the wild rose bushes growing around the lake behind her. The artist, Sherry Farrell Racette is the author and illustrator of several books including a cultural history of the Métis for school age readers entitled, The Flower Beadwork People. Métis culture draws on traditions and materials from both the Indigenous peoples and the European traders and settlers in North America. Métis beadwork and embroidery is characterized by symmetrical patterns based on flowers and plants. The rose is an important plant for prairie peoples, historically a source of food and medicine; and for the Métis, whose culture has flourished despite great hardship, the hardy rose is also a symbol of survival. Sherry Farrell Racette (1952- ) was born in Pine Falls, Manitoba, and is of Métis heritage, and a member of the Timiskaming First Nation (Quebec). She has earned a BFA (1974) and a certificate in Education (1975) from the University of Manitoba; a MEd (1988) from the University of Regina, and a PhD from the University of Manitoba in the Interdisciplinary Program in Anthropology, History and Native Studies (2004). Farrell Racette is an interdisciplinary scholar with an active arts practice, a member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, and currently professor in Media, Art, and Performance at the University of Regina. Her beadwork, painting, and multi-media textile works reflect her research in First Nations and Métis history, traditional arts, gender studies, and issues of self-representation. Her work has been exhibited nationally, and is held in numerous public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, Saskatchewan Arts Board, and MacKenzie Art Gallery.