Aboriginal artists from across Canada, featured at Vancouver 2010 exhibition,
Over 50 artists were featured at the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Art Exhibition at Canada Place in Vancouver BC, Oct 17/18. It's a two day free exhibition with sales to the public. On Friday evening, a live auction of highlighted artworks was held with proceeds going towards the Vancouver 2010 Aboriginal Youth Legacy Fund.
Many of the artists were commissioned to create artworks for the Olympic venue sites. These works are featured in the book,
O Siyam: Aboriginal Art Inspired by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will be available in stores on November 2 — the first official Games-related book to be published. Pre-ordered copies of the book can be made at the exhibition.
Alano Edzerza (right) is an amazing young artist that I met. Melissa (left) is his friend who helps him plan events. Melissa is wearing a shirt that Alano designed, for her marathon running competitions. Behind them is a 3-panel design of flying ravens. I really liked it's three dimensionality, and repeated motif. It stands out to many of the flat 2-dimensional designs I have seen in aboriginal art. Alano also designed a 3-panel work featuring killer whales, which inspired a commission from GM place of killer whales. Born in 1981, this 28 year old artist has both a remarkable maturity, and an extensive collection of works and his own gallery. So impressive is Edzerza's work that Roy Henry Vickers was sending people his way at the exhibition.
Councillor Lois Joseph of the Lil'Wat Nation Mount Currie Band is very proud of Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Museum, recently build in Whistler BC. She said it is a collaboration by two nations, Squamish and Lilwat, and it is designed to showcase the history, culture and artworks of the Lil'Wat and Squamish peoples who have been a big part of the Sea to Sky country. I have visited Aboriginal Cultural Centres in Alert Bay, the Haida Gwaii Museum, and even the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Hawaii. I will definitely go visit on my next trip to Whistler.
Roy Henry Vickers was one of the first aboriginal artists to recieve mass popularity in BC. His striking serigraphs are available as postcards and prints. He is also recipient of Order of BC, and Order of Canada. His Aerie Gallery in Tofino is a must-see. When I found him, he was playing with a computer image of a five-finned killer whale on a lap top computer. He shared with me the very personal story of this very special whale which also includes the story of his “Chieftainship, Tlagwigila more commonly spelled,
Tlakwakila which means Copperman. Tlakwakila is from the house of WAKAS
and my adopted family,”
Mr. Vickers and I talked about commonalities about Chinese and First Nations peoples. He said “There is no Yellow Skin, only a person, there is no Red skin, only a person, There is no black or white skin, only a person. We are all the same race… We are human.”
When I told him about Gung Haggis Fat Choy, and how the give recognition to BC's pioneer cultures the Scottish, Chinese and First Nations instead of Canada's two solitudes of French and English… he shared with me that his mother was English.
I thanked him for sharing his wisdom and helping make our society a better place.
KC Adams is from Winnipeg, but she doesn't identify herself as Metis, because she is part Scottish – not French-Canadian. She is tuned into the growing Mixed-Race culture of Canada, but doesn't call herself a hybrid or mixed-race. Instead she calls herself a cyborg, reflecting our new technology culture for the 21st Century.
Her artwork also reflects her post-modern, post-colonial viewpoints. She plays with stereotypes and juxtaposes them with contrary images. The portraits are beautiful, clean, and dressed in white. The words on the clothing say things like ““AUTHORITY ON ALL ABORIGINAL ISSUES”,
“INDIAN GIVER” You can see her Cyborg series here: http://www.kcadams.com/art/arttotal.html
KC's websites states:
mixed race classifications by using humorous text and imagery from two cultures.
The Cyborg Hybrids are digital prints of Euro-Aboriginal artists who are forward
thinkers and plugged in with technology. They follow the doctrine of Donna Harroway’s
Manifesto , which states that a cyborg is a creature in a technological,
post-gender world free of traditional western stereotypes towards race and gender.
KC laughed when I told her about Gung Haggis Fat Choy – but she got it. Juxtoposing cultural images and language in ways that reflect a new understanding – that's what we both do. We recognize Mixed-Race heritage. She was intrigued when I told her that there were people in Madagasca called Metis, but were of Chinese and Madagascar heritage, in this former French colony. But Metis means half, just like the Hawaiian term Hapa.
While at the exhibition, my friend Sabine found me and said “You have to see Jean Taylor.” Her biography states her “Tlingit name is Khàsx’ ân Tlâ is from the Dakhł awèdi Clan of the
Teslin Tlingit Nation in Teslin, Yukon Territory. She is also a member
of the Tlingit Haida Central Council of Alaska.”
Her artwork captures the spirit and minuitae of aboriginal cultural life. There are scenes of dancing, farming, running with sled dogs. It's beautiful, reflective and wonderfully presented.
Check out: http://www.yessy.com/JTaylor/bio.html