Kris Nahrgang’s art is a continuation of the spirit and tradition of rock and story pole carving. His style has a balance of innovative, modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles, as well as MacLeans Magazine.
Kris Nahrgang is a multi-disciplinary artist working in wood, stone and traditional oil mediums. He is also an advocate for the rights of First Nations communities in Ontario and has liaised between Native and non-native groups with respect to archaeology since 2000. Kris Nahrgang is a Status, Mississauga Ojibway Indian – status held at Curve Lake.
Kris’ art embraces the spirit and tradition of rock and totem carving. His style has a balance of innovative, modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles, as well as MacLean’s Magazine.
Mr. Nahrgang has worked closely with underwater archaeologists at Parks Canada, and has served as a member of the advisory committee struck by the Ministry of Culture contributing to new archaeological assessment technical guidelines. He consults widely with First Nations on matters relating to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.
In 2017 Kris was commissioned by the Canadian National Exhibition to produce a 36’ UNITY POLE (Totem). The Pole was unveiled at the CNE in August of 2017, receiving national and international acclaim. The Unity Pole was the CNE Association’s first Indigenous Art acquisition and currently stands in front of the Press Building on the CNE grounds.
Kris is the co-creator/producer of “Future History”, a documentary series that challenges the colonial narrative and celebrates the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge and identity.
1981 – Native Law Program, University of Saskatoon, BA Equivalency for Law School, Completed
1982 – Osgood Hall Law School, York University, One Year
1991-1992 – Social Service Diploma, Sir Sanford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario, Completed
2001-2004 – Hon. BA., Anthropology Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. Nine Credits Completed.
Elected Chief of Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nations (retired)
Archaeological Liaison Curve Lake First Nation Native 2001-2002
Archeological Liaison for Alderville First Nation Native 2002-2004
Archaeological Liaison for Scugog Island First Nations 2003-2007
Native Liaison Officer for Trent University 2000-2005
Consulting Associate, Archaeological Services Inc., Toronto
RECENT JURIED ART SHOW HISTORY:
The Artists’ Commons – Withrow Commons Gallery – Toronto, ON
Buckhorn Wildlife/Fine Art Festival – Buckhorn, On
Kawartha Arts Festival – Fenelon Falls, On
Collingwood Art & Music Festival – Collingwood, On
Ottawa Art Expo – Ottawa, On
Purple Turtle Art Festival – Georgina, On
Art Walk, Polo for Heart – Vaughan, On
Chinese Cultural Centre – Canada 150 – Group Exhibition
Artworld Fine Art Gallery – Solo Exhibition – Toronto (October 2017)
Scugog Council for the Arts, “Focus on First Nations”, October 2014
Gallery on the Lake, August 2008
Northumberland Art Gallery, A Retrospective, 2001
Festival De Reviers, 50th Anniversary, Landings of Allies in Normandy, France, June 1994
Research License, Ministry of Culture, July 2006
Parks Canada/Trent Severn Waterway archaeological assessments on inundated lands, 2001-present
ACUC® Certified November, 1998 – present
The State of Archaeology and First Nations. Ontario Archaeology, Toronto, 2004. No. 73:1-9.
An Aboriginal Perspective. Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province, Montreal, 2013. 203-211.
2017-2019 – Executive Co-Producer and Host of “Future History” A documentary series about shifting the colonial narrative and celebrating the reclamation of indigenous knowledge and identity. Season 1 and 2 currently available to stream on CBC Gem
PENDING PROJECT – Public Art Installation for the newly designed Humber Bay Trails Park Project, Toronto, ON
Connected Future – pair of story poles – Daniels Corporation, Mississauga, ON
Unity Pole – Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, ON
Spirit of the Earth Stone Sculpture – presented to former U.S. President George Bush
Reunion, Stone Sculpture – presented to the Duke of York, Prince Andrew
Trails of Nobility, Stone Sculpture – presented to His Royal Highness, Prince Charles
International Vision Calls – Stone Sculpture – presented to Nelson Mandela
Numerous private commissions
“Story poles are not entirely traditional to Anishnaabe people. “We did however, erect clan poles to honour our lineage. My poles reflect that tradition incorporating traditional clan symbols and contemporary images.” If the poles are finished with paint, the designs are ‘Woodland’ in style, with vibrant colours, and distinct lines. Story poles tell a story. Each symbol or totem on a pole represents a feeling, a person, an animal, a place, or a concept.”