The MacKenzie Art Gallery in the Saskatchewan province of Canada has received an endowment of $25 million from an anonymous source. The gift will go primarily toward expansions—the museum has plans to add a new cafe and more program space. It has also allowed the MacKenzie to hire John Hampton as its director of programming, a new position. A newly commissioned piece by Duane Linklater will also be created for the museum’s grounds through the gift.
“We’re also contributing to our acquisitions” program, Anthony Kiendl, the executive director and CEO of the MacKenzie, told ARTnews in a phone conversation. The museum’s holdings of contemporary Indigenous and Native American art are particularly strong, he said, “so we want to build on that reputation.”
The piece by Linklater, titled, Kakike/Forever, was custom-made for the facade of the MacKenzie. Its text is pulled from treaties for negotiations between Canadian Indigenous populations and the English crown during the colonization of Canada, and reads: “As long as the sun shines, the river flows and the grass grows.”
“It’s a poetic piece, [and] a great citation and reminder of our colonial legacy,” Kiendl said. “I think it’s a timely piece when people on both sides of the border are questioning public monuments and the legacy of these historical markers. For us, it’s a new monument for the future of Canada. It kind of embodies visually an enduring and renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”