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Artists challenged

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Margo Little, Birchbark Writer, Wikwemikong







Page 2

"When you give a little, you get something back." That's the guiding principle of Randy Trudeau's life.

The Wikwemikong artist believes that successful artists should give back to their community. With this in mind, Trudeau has donated one of his paintings to the newly renovated Wikwemikong public library. The oval-shaped painting is in the form of a shield depicting the seven grandfather teachings. The artwork is intended to pay tribute to his mother Lina Theresa Trudeau.

"I am issuing a challenge to other artists to do the same," he said. "It has gotten to the point where many community agencies cannot afford to buy these wonderful pieces. There are a number of established artists here, but now their paintings are too expensive for community organizations to purchase them."

Trudeau hopes his gesture will start a chain reaction among other Aboriginal artists. He recently donated a mural to Wasse-Abin High School and several years ago he donated a painting to the Hub Centre in Wikwemikong.

He thinks the public displays help First Nation youngsters learn to appreciate art and the cultural teachings that accompany the work.

The Birchbark Shield was unveiled June 10. "The new painting will add the last little touch to our new renovations," said band librarian Sheri Mishibinijima. "Randy's donation is greatly appreciated."