Frank Shebageget

Frank Shebageget



1/6th Scale Indian House (2021) $65000 Wood, paint, stain and tar paper; 60”x 48” x 36” (SOLD)


Straight Chair For Canadian Indian Homes (2021) $8,000 Baltic Birch Plywood, Life Size, Edition of 3 (SOLD)

Model for Canadian Indian Homes (2021) $2,800 Screen print on BFK, in maple frame. Edition on 5 + AP

Straight Chair for Canadian Indian Homes (2021) $2,800 Screen print on BFK, in maple frame. Edition on 5 + AP

For his Creature Comfort exhibition this fall at Central Art Garage, Frank Shebageget has produced new work based on a collection of architectural blueprints he uncovered at National Archives in Ottawa. The blueprints depict a standardized “Canadian Indian Home” as well as rudimentary plywood chairs and tables to furnish them. These were discovered while doing research for an earlier work titled “Small Village”.

In this new work Shebageget further explores the uniformity and numbness of these cookie cutter homes designed to populate first nation reservations. The program managed by the Engineering and Construction Service, Indian Affairs Branch of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, set out to make every home exactly the same as the one next door. This was aligned with the federal government’s overall approach to Indigenous peoples. This standardizing overlooked the diversity of cultures, languages, and traditions that existed across many nations.

Additionally, a set of silkscreen prints will feature the chair and the home. The home plans have been redesigned by Shebageget to resemble a cut out with tabs that could be folded to create a three-dimensional paper home. A design which could be easily reproduced and assembled over and over again. Along with scale pulp board models of the houses perched at eye-level, Shebageget has also produced a life size version of the chair detailed in the blueprints that date back to 1960. The plans indicate using material that was readily available such as plywood. Shebageget notes that, “none of the materials suggested would have been easy to acquire in the remote northern communities that the homes and furniture were intended for”.





“My work in sculpture and installation reflect an enduring interest in the geography of the Canadian Shield. My practice, which draws on the aesthetics of everyday materials, exploits the tense relationships between production, consumption and the economics of beauty, through the repetition of forms, labour-intensive processes, and the play between quasi-industrial and handcrafted methods.”

Frank Shebageget (Ojibway) was born and raised in Upsala, a small town in northwestern Ontario, and currently resides in Ottawa. Shebageget graduated with his A.O.C.A. from the Ontario College of Art in 1996, and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 2000. He was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 2016. Solo exhibitions include “Home/Works”, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay ON; “Light Industry”, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa ON and “Model Life”, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey BC. Group Exhibitions include “Anishinaabeg: Art and Power”, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto ON; “Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation, Part 3”, Museum of Art and Design New York NY, which toured to the following other venues: Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester NY; The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg ON; The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe NM; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor MI and at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis IN. “Native Art Now, New Indigenous Art at NONAM”, Stadt Zurich Nordamerika Native Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. “Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes”, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, New York NY; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON.

His work can be found in the collections of the Stadt Zurich Nordamerika Native Museum, City of Ottawa, Indigenous Art Centre, Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Dorothy Hoover Library of the Ontario College of Art, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

CURRICULUM (Downloadable PDF)

Also visit Frank Shebageget’s Artist Page Central Art Garage’s main website.