The MacKenzie Art Gallery is set to present the solo exhibition Audie Murray: To Make Smoke by Treaty 4-based artist Audie Murray, part of a rising generation of Indigenous artists resisting categorization. Murray brings a fresh perspective that builds on the work of established artists based on the prairies, such as Judy Anderson and Lori Blondeau—challenging the way we celebrate Indigenous art and culture in Western institutions. To Make Smoke invites us to take time to slow down and reflect on alternative modes of honouring and existing.   

Curated by Tak Pham, and opening on 22 February 2024, To Make Smoke offers an innovative take on how artists balance what is obscured with what should be revealed. Murray draws inspiration from the process of generating smoke, skillfully harnessing this volatile medium and other unconventional materials. Smoke, with its ephemeral nature, serves as a form of resistance against predatory exposure and reclaims the artist’s autonomy over the significance of her work. 

The exhibition includes everyday objects and organic residue, drawing on their ambiguity and versatility to evoke the complexities faced by Indigenous creators and artists as they navigate the demands, expectations, appropriations, and limitations of the contemporary art world. Murray uses traditional (bear grease, smudge ash, etc.) and everyday material (beads, household items, etc.) while critiquing the hyper-visibility and, simultaneously, the invisibility of artistic labour, and how the art market consumes, absorbs, and depletes an artist’s work before moving on to another emerging talent. Murray highlights ways Indigenous youth access their own cultures through various means of consumerism and questions what it means to an artist in this day and age.

Curator Tak Pham shares, “Working with Murray on this exhibition has been a rewarding experience for me as a curator. Murray challenges my perception of her art and uses it as motivation to innovate her practice and push the limits of contemporary art and Indigenous art discourse. I’m excited to see the public reception of the exhibition.” 

To Make Smoke will provide the community with a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of Indigenous artistic expression. This exhibition promises to challenge conventions and spark dialogue about the future trajectory of Indigenous art. 

The exhibition is the second installment in NEXT, a series of exhibitions presented by the MacKenzie Art Gallery with support from RBC Emerging Artists Project. This exhibition will be the first in the NEXT series to highlight an artist based in Treaty 4. 

Crystal Mowry, Director of Programs, underscores the NEXT series’ role in supporting artistic growth, sharing, “NEXT will highlight artistic innovation and support transformational pivots in fresh careers. Each artist selected for the series is focusing on new perspectives shaped by generational dialogue.” Continuing this thread, Mowry highlights, “The Gallery can be a hot-house context to build networks and the confidence needed to pursue an unconventional professional path. After graduation, it can be challenging to retain the structure of those generative networks, making it difficult to sustain the momentum needed to take young professionals to the next stage of career growth. For each artist in the NEXT series, an exhibition at the MacKenzie Art Gallery is consistent with a shift in visibility and recognition. This is a rare opportunity in a sector that often invests more energy in celebrating existing legacies than supporting legacies in-the-making.” 



On Thursday 22 February visitors are welcome to join us in celebrating the opening of Audie Murray: To Make Smoke paired with a Rawlco Radio and the MacKenzie Art Gallery Free Admission evening from 5 PM – 9 PM.  

A conversation with Audie Murray will be hosted by curator Tak Pham in the Shumiatcher Theatre from 7 PM – 8 PM, this conversation will feature American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, followed by a live interpretive audio performance by Matthew Cardinal within the exhibition space from approximately 8 PM – 8:30 PM. A reception in Craft Service Cafe by Crave will follow. 



Audie Murray is a visual artist who works with a multitude of mediums such as sculpture, media, beadwork and drawing. Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to bodies, ancestral knowledge systems, and relationality. Murray is Cree-Métis from the Lebret and Meadow Lake communities located on Treaty 4 & 6 territories and is currently based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan).  

Murray holds a visual arts diploma from Camosun College, 2016; a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina, 2017; a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary, 2022. She has exhibited widely, including at Remai Modern, Saskatoon; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; and the Anchorage Museum. Murray is represented by Fazakas Gallery, located on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory (Vancouver, B.C.). 



The MacKenzie Art Gallery is Saskatchewan’s oldest public art gallery, currently celebrating 70 years creating transformative experiences of the world through art. With a permanent collection that spans 5,000 years and nearly 5,000 works of art, we encompass both the University of Regina’s vast collection and one of Canada’s largest collections of Indigenous art, the Kampelmacher Memorial Collection. Through art, education, and immersive programming, the MacKenzie brings fresh perspectives that transform how people experience history, themselves, and each other.     


The MacKenzie is located in Wascana Park, Oskana Kâ’asastêki/Regina in Treaty Four territory, the traditional—and contemporary—territory of the Nehiyawak, Saulteaux, Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. We are grateful for the support of the Mackenzie Art Gallery Operating Endowment Fund at the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation, as well as the support of our core funders: the Canada Council for the Arts; SaskCulture; the City of Regina; the University of Regina; and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.  



Mackenzy Vida

Communications Coordinator

MacKenzie Art Gallery

(306) 584-4250 ext. 4271

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