ARTS AROUND: Exhibit features ‘grandfather’ of contemporary Indigenous art

Current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre includes pieces from permanent collection

A piece of artwork by the late Norval Morrisseau. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)



The Rollin Art Centre has re-opened with an exhibit featuring some pieces from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection.

In 1995, Port Alberni artist Robert Aller donated many works of art—including four of his own paintings—to the Community Arts Council. This collection—featuring some of the most brilliant artists in Canadian history—is now on display for everyone to enjoy.

One of the artists featured in the exhibit is the late Norval Morrisseau, considered the “grandfather” of contemporary Indigenous art. He was a member of the Indigenous Group of Seven (now the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.) and founded the Woodland School of Art in the late 1960s.

Morrisseau was born in the early 1930s in Ontario and raised by his maternal grandparents. His grandfather was a shaman, and a great influence on Morrisseau’s life and artwork. The myths and stories of Morrisseau’s artwork are woven into his work, which can be found in public and private art collections around the world. Morrisseau died in 2007 in Toronto.

Aller admired Morrisseau’s work and although the two never met, Aller supported the Anishnabe artist by purchasing some of his work.

The Rollin Art Centre is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. Call 250-724-3412 for more info.


The Rollin Art Centre is now accepting applications from all visual artists and artist groups who want to exhibit their work in our fine arts gallery during the 2022 calendar year.

Application forms are available at the Rollin Art Centre or on our website. The deadline is April 30, 2021.


Looking for some books to read? Call the Rollin Art Centre to order your mystery book bag.

For $20 you will receive 10 gently-used books all in one genre. By purchasing a bag of books, you will also be helping Rollin Art Centre during this difficult time.

Choose from mysteries, fiction, fantasy, romance, cooking, home improvements, travel, cooking, pre-teen chapter books (e.g. Nancy Drew), children’s books and even puzzles ($2 each).

Your support for Rollin Art Centre is greatly needed and much appreciated.


At this time, the Rollin Art Centre will not be accepting any book donations. Thank you for your continued support.


The Community Arts Council is designing a new Alberni Valley Artist and Studio Guide. If you are interested in being included in this brochure and guide, please call the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412 for more information.

The guide will include local artists and a map. Five thousand guides will be printed and distributed to the tourist information centre, and local hot spots.

The extended deadline is Feb. 27, 2021.


This year’s community painting days at the Glenwood Centre have been cancelled. Instead, there will be a “Paint a Banner at Home” program. Please email the Rotary Club at to express interest.

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412.

Alberni Valley News


A piece of artwork by the late Norval Morrisseau. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)