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Item Name: Collage
Title: Country People: Back to the Landers: Organic Farmers and Communards
Maker: Chuck Crate
Year: 1987
Country: Canadian
Materials: paper
Measurements: overall: 37 cm x 37.5 cm
ID Number: PC94.4

Extended Label Info: Artist Chuck Crate constructed this collage using magazines and Bristol board at his kitchen table studio. By combining images of the “back-to-the-land” movement from the 1970s with post-Napoleonic France, Crate creates a visual link between the rise of organic farms and cooperatives during the Vietnam era anti-war and anti-capitalism protests and the radical political history of the French “Communards”. The term, which can refer to a member of a commune, derives from the Commune of Paris in 1871 which briefly established a socialist state. As collage creates symbolic meaning through the juxtaposition of diverse images and words, many artists including use this method to create artwork with strong political messages. Charles Brandel Crate (1915 – 1992) was an educator, artist, a gold miner, worker's rights and native rights advocate, and lexicographer. Born in the working-class town of Weston, Ontario, and politically radicalized during the Great Depression, Crate served with the Royal Canadian Navy in the last year of WWII. In 1946 he married and moved his young family to the Yukon. And then to Vancouver. He earned a teaching certificate from the University of British Columbia while studying art. In 1969, Crate completed his Bachelor of Education at the University of Victoria and moved to the prairies. In Gleichen, Alberta he taught on the Siksiká reserve followed by a move to Biggar, Saskatchewan in 1975. Crate’s first solo exhibition of collages was in 1979 at Rosemont Art Gallery. His artworks have been exhibited locally, and are held in numerous public and private collections, including the Saskatchewan Arts Board.