Braxton Garneau is a visual artist based in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). He holds a BFA from the University of Alberta and has had solo exhibitions at GAVLAK, Los Angeles (2023), Stride Gallery, Calgary (2021) and Parallel Space, Edmonton (2019). His work was featured in the retrospective exhibition Black Every Day at the Art Gallery of Alberta (2021), It's About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 - 1970 and Now at Mitchell Art Gallery (2020), curated by Seika Boye, and New Direction, curated by AJ Girard and Artx at Château Cîroc, Miami, Florida (2021). He was a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize in 2023 and in 2024, he will have a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
Working in painting, sculpture, printmaking and installation, Garneau’s practice is rooted in costuming, transformation, and material honesty. Combining visual influences from classical European portraiture and Afro-Caribbean culture with harvested and hand-processed materials, he creates portraits, shrines, and corporeal forms that explore the sociocultural history of his Caribbean heritage. The materials used–raffia, sugarcane pulp, cowrie shells, asphalt–share inextricable colonial histories and cultural ties to those who’ve spent generations in close proximity to them.
Garneau’s recent body of work specifically looks at the traditions of costuming and European influences on the development of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, and its precursor “Canboulay” from the French "cannes brulés”, meaning burnt cane, as a slave revolt and parallel celebration formed in response to 18th century French plantation owners masquerades (Mas).