Métis Dot Art - Ishmael Van der Rassel, Métis

Image of Métis Dot Art by Ishmael Van der Rassel

Ishmael Van der Rassel is a young Métis artist who currently serves as the Youth Representative for the North Bay Métis Community Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Ishmael is proud of his heritage and works with the Métis Nation of Ontario to educate the public about his culture and history. He has been creating floral beadwork and dot art paintings since 2016 - two forms of artwork that he feels are a way for Métis people to express their identity and celebrate cultural pride.

Dot art painting is meant to mimic traditional Métis floral beadwork. The designs Ishmael creates symbolize both traditional and contemporary patterns. Each colour used in this piece has a different meaning: red for life, health, courage, passion and love; yellow for optimism, joy, happiness and friendship; blue is for freedom, inspiration, open spaces and wisdom; green signifying rebirth, renewal and hope; purple for creativity, peace, pride, and independence; and white symbolizing goodness, purity and radiance.