Barbara has demonstrated a deep understanding of the history of the Syilx (Okanagan Nation) in both contemporary and traditional works. Stone, sand, paint and other natural and contemporary materials are combined to create works that are tactile and present an overwhelming sensory experience for the viewer. She is presently creating a body of work to visually portray how traditional stories and language connect, overlap, and remind us of our responsibility to take care of the land. Barbara is an instructor in the En'owkin Centre's Visual Arts Program and is also enrolled as a student in the Okanagan Native Language Program. Her work has been exhibited throughout British Columbia and in 2000, she received the BC2000 Book Award for her illustrations in Kou-Skelowh.
Marianne's contributions to the visual arts include painting, photography, mix-media works, sculpture and installation. Marianne's traditional work involves regalia making, crest design and object creation for ceremonies. Her work for public art spaces are extensions of traditional Northwest Coast artistic expressions and are her way of preserving and perpetuating Kwakwaka'wakw conceptual culture. Currently she is completing a PhD in Linguistics and Anthropology that investigates how traditional concepts are embedded in First Nations' languages. Her works have been exhibited throughout the world including at the National Gallery of Canada, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Smithsonian's George Gustave Heye Centre in New York, The Jordan National Gallery and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
In 1974 Chester (Chaz) began his training at the prestigious Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Arts at 'Ksan. Chaz excels at painting, carving and designing, working primarily in yellow cedar that allows him to make clean, well-defined cuts to highlight his design work. Design is the most fundamental element in all of his work, whether carving or painting. As the artist-in-residence, he was hired to build two ceremonial panels for the front of the Hill's Indian Crafts Gallery in Gastown. His work can be found in private collections, galleries, and public institutions throughout North America, Asia, and Europe.
Coast Salish, Musqueam
Susan's artistic output ranges from carving to printmaking, glass, metal, concrete and stone works, and the creation of jewellery pieces. During the past several years she has concentrated on large-scale public art pieces. Her artwork represents Salish culture and British Columbia at the Vancouver International Airport, the Seattle Children's Hospital, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. She has recently completed artwork to be incorporated into the new Richmond Skating Oval for the 2010 Olympics and was also selected to create People Amongst the People, a carved gateway at all three entrances of the totem park site in Stanley Park. Her interest in new materials and techniques has taken Northwest Coast art into new possibilities and new markets.
Christian was born on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and began to carve argillite at fourteen under the direction of his father, Morris White. When he was only twenty-two years old, his sculpture titled Raven Dancer was purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. His work is now in collections at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and is featured in Totems to Turquoise. Christian's style has influenced many emerging Haida artists, and his efforts have helped to establish an apprenticeship program and the future direction for Haida and northwest coast art. (photo: Spirit Wrestler Gallery)
Prince Rupert, BC
William first learned weaving from his aunt, Betty Sampson, and later received formal training through the Alaska Native Heritage Centre. For the last ten years, he has focused on reviving ancient weaving techniques used in producing Chilkat. William has encouraged and trained many Tsimshian and other Northwest Coast First Nations in basketry, Raven's Tail and Chilkat weaving. He is passionate about sharing the Tsimshian culture through his work. One of his Chilkat Robes is in the permanent collection at UBC's Museum of Anthropology, and his work has been exhibited in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and throughout the United States.
Many thanks to Cathi Charles Wherry, Arts Program Coordinator, of the First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council who provided tremendous assistance in the establishment of the award.
T. 604.261.9777 | Toll Free 866.882.6088 (in BC)
BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art
Past Award Recipients
Lifetime Achievement Award