Category Archives: Special Projects

Smokey Dogs: Halie Finney

Smokey Dogs

Halie Finney

August 3 – September 1, 2019

Installation on Stride Gallery’s Facade

Opening reception: Saturday, August 3 @ 2-4pm

Four-eyed black dogs can fly. They run through the air barking, yelping, chasing, play-fighting, and regular fighting. They come when there are big changes happening around you, they come under cover of night, clouds, or smoke. It’s hard to see or hear them, but when they’re near, you can feel something in your gut.

The fire was big, and it was everywhere. Up in the sky the dogs ran loose in the thick yellow air, above them is a neon red sun and below them I’m running too. I can feel my lungs getting tighter and my stomach twisting with worry and fear. I was coming to the realization that everything could change at once, my landscape, my home, my family, even me. When I looked up, I saw the back end of a dog disappear behind some haze.

After all that had changed everything was okay.

Smokey Dogs by Halie Finney gives a special surface treatment to Stride’s big storefront windows. Translating Finney’s drawing practice into a large scale platform, Smokey Dogs is an extension of the artist’s ongoing inquiry into the place smoke occupies in her personal history and in ecology; the smoke that used to fill her family’s wood stove, and the smoke that reside over the ember-filled summer skies. As the hazy, piquant air becomes a more recurring event in Southern Alberta, and the engulfing fires impact hundreds of people near the evacuation sites, Finney questions our relationships with the image of smoke and social responsibility.

Halie Finney is an emerging Métis artist who was raised in Canyon Creek, a hamlet in the Lesser Slave Lake region in Alberta. In 2014 Halie received her diploma in fine arts from MacEwan University and in 2017 she received her degree from the former Alberta College of Art + Design (now AUArts), where she majored in Drawing. As an interdisciplinary artist Halie takes advantage of narrative to explore and connect to her Métis identity through her and her family’s memories of each other and their hometown. She now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, just three hours away from home.