An artwork depicting a lush aerial view of the Cooking Lake area before colonization. The artwork is made of many colours of fabrics, ribbons, and beadwork sewn onto an elk-hide.
ᑮᓯᑌᐳᐃᐧᐣ ᓵᑳᐦᐃᑲᐣ kîsitêpowin sâkâhikan - Cooking Lake, copyright Heather Shillinglaw, 2022. Image courtesy of the Alberta Craft Council​

Heather Shillinglaw

ᒥᔪᑕᒧᐣ  ᓇᓇᓂᐢ 
miyotamon nananis – it is a good road in all directions 

Strathcona County Hall
September 14, 2022 to January 13, 2023 

Strathcona County is proud to host ᒥᔪᑕᒧᐣ  ᓇᓇᓂᐢ miyotamon nananis – it is a good road in all directions, an art exhibit by Métis artist Heather Shillinglaw. Grounded in the oral teachings of her mother, elder Shirley Norris-Shillinglaw from Cold Lake First Nations, Shillinglaw's art quilts envision landscapes as her ancestors would have known them. 

Find this exhibit on the main floor of Strathcona County Hall. 

Opening reception - Friday, September 30, 2:30 p.m. 

Join us to meet and talk with the artist and engage in a blessing and smudging led by elder Mary Cardinal Collins. ​All are welcome. Refreshments will be served, and Ruby MacMillan will perform with the harp. ​

  • Grounded in the oral teachings of my mother, elder Shirley Norris-Shillinglaw from Cold Lake First Nations, I attempt to recreate the landscapes as my ancestors knew them. Archival research including maps, aerial photos, and recorded histories contribute to my perspective. Regardless of how I come to know the land—by research, helicopter, or foot—my mother’s teachings remain my most reliable compass.  

    In her art practise, Heather Shillinglaw honours the language of her nohkums and kookums (grandmothers) by weaving into her artwork the oral teachings of her elders. Using modern and traditional quilting techniques, beadwork, sewing and collage, her practice is rooted in both the natural world and her ancestry; she is an Appetogasan (Métis) of Nehiyawewin (Cree), Chipewyan (Dene), Salteaux (Ojibwe), Scot, and French descent. Heather was raised in Sherwood Park, where her mother and father still reside. She holds a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and her work has been shown across Canada and internationally. 


Close up of a large sculpture of a dalmatian dog holding the end of a fire hose in its mouth.
Sadie by Craig LeBlanc, 2014

Explore public art in the County

Established in 2014, Strathcona County's quickly growing public art program encompasses over 40 major public art commissions. Public art is integral to the County’s pursuit of a vibrant and healthy place to live, work and visit. 

Public Art Map

Interior Art Collection

The County's Interior Art Collection consists of hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and many other unique mediums. See these artworks installed in public spaces throughout the county, or browse the collection online. 

Abstract images painted on spiral staircase
Alex Janvier - Tribute to Beaver Hills, 1976

Calls for artists

Call for art selection jury members (ongoing)

Strathcona County invites artists, curators and other creative professionals (such as designers and architects) to submit qualifications. This roster forms an on-hand list of interested and qualified individuals who will assist the County in assessing proposals for public art projects.  

Download and review the guidelines (119.6 KB)

Gallery@501 calls for exhibition proposals  

View Gallery@501 opportunities



Receive calls for artists and other visual arts news direct to your inbox

Subscribe to our Gallery@501 e-newsletter

Discover the benefits of Gallery@501 membership.

Contact Public Art

Susan Pointe, curator

Susie Winters, assistant curator

County Connect

Ask a question, report it or suggest it using County Connect

Related pages

Related topics

Last updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Page ID: 39607