As the owner of Edmonton’s Bearclaw Gallery, Jackie Bugera spends her days surrounded by stunning First Nations art.
But when she goes home at night, it’s to a second, secret gallery: her basement showcases scores of works across a broad range of media, all focused on her late bulldog, Zsu Zsi.
At the CBC, Reporter Andrea Huncar provides a delightful walkthrough of The Hall of Zsu Zsi, as well as testimony from the contributors—many of them renowned Indigenous artists—who have made it possible. Leo Arcand, a Cree sculptor, carved a soapstone bust of Zsu Zsi, who died in 2012. He was particularly inspired by her twinkling eyes and flapping jowls, he tells Huncar.
“She was always charming, but also a little bit put offish, so you couldn’t help but be drawn in,” says Aaron Paquette, the first to paint Zsu Zsi and now a frequent contributor. His works include I’m a fool for you, which imagines Zsu Zsi as a queen gorging on venison, and Zsu Zsi of the Night, which shows her splayed, French-girl style, in a local dog park.
Perhaps the most touching work is by Linus Woods. Entitled To the Spirit World, it shows the beloved dog standing in the open door of a boxcar, feet planted and ready for the journey.
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