A Celebration of Applied Art + Design

What is applied art and design you ask?  

As the 2020 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design opens nominations for the program, it’s an important question to ask.

Applied art and design is the intersection of design and function where the creation of beautiful pieces have practical applications. It’s seen in the svelte sofa of furniture designer Sholto Scruton, the soothing vessel shapes and finishes created by ceramicist Gordon Hutchens, the eco-friendly cork clothing of fashion designer Morgan Mallett and the transformative prosthetic leg covers of McCauley Wanner and Ryan Palibroda. These are just a few examples, all of whom also happen to be the awardees of last year’s Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design. 

Sam Carter, whose name is synonymous with the award program itself, talks about art, craft and design as trilogy that results in something beautiful. Sam is an advocate for applied art and design in Canada and has devoted his career to creating, teaching and promoting applied art and design. In Fall 2019, as a panelist for the Carter Wosk exhibition, Sam spoke of one of his earlier trips to Japan. There he gained appreciation of ‘the people’s art’ ‘Mingei’ where practical items like washing and utensils were looked at in a more beautiful way. In viewing functional items like these in a more magical way, applied art and design elevates the functional aspect of current culture and celebrates it. 

Renée Macdonald, shoe designer and 2015 awardee, was also a panelist at last Fall’s Carter Wosk exhibition. She defined applied art and design as using your craft to make something beautiful, practical and functional. Renée makes bespoke leather shoes and is inspired by her client’s desire to have something unique and of high quality. 

In these times it is important to support artists who create art, who make the functional things fun, innovative and more beautiful. Now more than ever, awards like the Applied Art + Design Award, create a space for shared inspiration, encourage mutual support amongst artists, and provide an opportunity to appreciate the beauty in this time of chaos. 

The Award highlights people creating art, celebrating culture and enhancing the cultural economy of BC. And now that nominations are open online, it’s your chance to share the achievements of an artist, perhaps your own. This province is filled with wonderfully creative people who create practical art and you can help elevate excellence through their work by nominating them for the 2020 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design#nominatenow

2020 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art Launches – celebrating your ‘magnificent struggle’ #nominatenowbc

Today, as BC Achievement launches the 14th annual  Fulmer Award in First Nations Art (FNA), and our province moves forward with COVID 19 Phase 3 of reopening, it’s timely to consider the ever-current words of world renowned Tahltan and Tlingit artist, Dempsey Bob. During recent conversations with First Nations artists and their communities, we have heard that now, more than ever, we need to shine a light on excellence in First Nations Art. Dempsey, who is also the inaugural recipient of the FNA program’s lifetime achievement Award of Distinction, closed the 2018 Fulmer Award ceremony with a powerful address to all artists as to the importance of their work and its impact on identity and culture. 

“The amazing designs of our ancestors represents some of the greatest art ever done, and that’s what we’ve been trying to get close to, but I think they’ve carved a wall that’s so big and deep that we could never get over it. And I’ve realized that the only thing we could do today is carve a new wall, and these artists are going to be part of that wall. Because quality and excellence are what matters in life and in your work along with your belief in your culture and your people. When you look at life, at great art, you’re looking at intelligence. You’re looking at integrity. You’re looking at somebody’s belief system. You’re also looking at truth, a truth that must be said. Because art is what keeps us in line as a people, it gives you identity, and a sense of place. It gives you meaning. It gives you direction.” 

Since 2006, the FNA  program has celebrated the intersection of art and culture, while honouring First Nations artistic traditions. Aiming to create an authentic space for community engagement, mentorship and storytelling where traditions are passed onto younger generations and shared with a BC-wide audience the program has shone a light on 77 outstanding artists. Dempsey challenges today’s generation of artists to ‘come alive and find the balance’ that drawing trains you to see. Noting that the goal for artists is to achieve the ‘magical line’ that dictates power and balance with soft curves and strong forms, he reminds his audiences that ‘talent is cheap and it’s the dedication and the commitment that fosters art’. 

Two FNA program alumni, Tsimshian artist Phil Gray (2014 Awardee) and KC Hall, Heiltsuk Nation and (2018 Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist) spoke to their efforts and commitment to their respective practices last November. They shared what makes them get out of bed in the morning and it is, for each of them, their drive to continually improve upon their art – it is their pursuit of excellence. Phil told us that he loves what he does but that it is not an easy life to live as he digs deep each day to raise the bar and KC said that he constantly wants to keep painting and he longs to get to his desk to produce and get better. They identified with Dempsey’s words calling it the “magnificent struggle’ because as Dempsey warned, ‘you just don’t know if you’re going to get it done’: 

“It’s not easy because you have to motivate yourself. You have to try to get better. We always try to get better, and you have to continuously learn. Because if you stop learning, you stop being an artist.” 

KC and Phil also spoke to the importance of receiving the Fulmer Award and that the resulting validation, boost of confidence and incentive to push forward with their own artistic struggles was paramount to their own pursuits. And now the 2020 Fulmer Award program is open for nominations and ready to highlight a new cohort of artists. During these challenging times artists have much to say about their ability to build resilience.

Nominate Now and #shinethelightbc on a First Nations artist in your community. Be part of it and tell a First Nations artist’s story, perhaps your own, and share how BC continues to be a place filled with astonishing craft, with unique and immensely expressive power, and continuous wonder. #nominatenowbc 

Nominations open for the 2020 Indigenous Business Award program! #nominatenowbc

Nominations open today for the 2020 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program! Consulting with its many stakeholders, BC Achievement has heard one resounding response that now, more than ever, is the time to shine the light on ‘what is possible and what is positive’ for Indigenous entrepreneurs.   

Alumni, such as Nene Kraneveldt (2019 Awardee), have shared their experiences and underlined that the ‘opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with individuals, families along with communities and Nations with a goal to inspire’ is key at this time and all are encouraged to nominate businesses for this year’s award program. We’ve heard many stories of resilience during these challenging times and look forward to receiving more within the context of the nomination process. 

As the province continues reopening with phase two of COVID, businesses are adapting or pausing their practices and this year’s nomination process encourages that these approaches be noted. Nominees and nominators have told us that the simple task of sitting down to complete the nomination form provides the enormous side benefit of taking stock of the successes and challenges of running a business and that alone is such a valuable undertaking. 

The IBA nomination process creates the space for Indigenous entrepreneurs to share their dreams, their hard lessons and, give a new definition to what success means in their world. Indigenous businesses feel that giving back to their communities is the driving force for their business success. This unique aspect of Indigenous entrepreneurship is celebrated as part of the program’s mission. 

Be part of it and share these stories of building resilience in business excellence by nominating worthy Indigenous businesses for the 2020 program. BC Achievement staff is eager and ready to assist you and together, work through the process. It’s time to #nominatenowbc.   

Tips on submitting a strong nomination #nominatenowbc

Online nominations open this month for three of BC Achievement’s award programs. Do you or someone you know, fit any of these categories? If so, nominate now!  

Indigenous Business Award – Elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses 

Fulmer Award in First Nations Art – Celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. 

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Honours excellence in functional art and design  

Here are some tips to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to completing the nomination form.  

How do you write an effective Artist’s Statement as required by the Carter Wosk and Fulmer awards?  

This is your chance to tell your story and describe how and why your work should be considered for the award. Expand on what makes your work unique and interesting, how it contributes to the cultural economy of BC, who or what has influenced you, and why the jury should select your submission above the others. You can write about who has influenced you, how your work has the respect of your peers and/or how you’ve mentored others. 

What makes for a compelling resumé?  

The most important thing is to make sure it’s up-to-date! Don’t forget to add your accomplishments, the galleries and/or associations you’re connected with and how long you’ve been involved with your practice, business and/or art. 

What kind of images are required? 

A picture tells a thousand words so make sure your images tell the story. The best advice for images is to ensure they show your art in the best light possible. No pun intended- the lighting must be good and sharpen your images to show off all the details of your hard work. Even if you work in different mediums, include images that reveal your signature style. And if you have images from earlier in your career add them to show how your work has evolved. 

Why include your business story?  

If your nomination is for the Indigenous Business Award, your story is important to share. The jury will want to know about your successes, your challenges and the benefits you offer to you employees and local community. Given the challenges COVID-19 has imposed on most BC businesses, feel free to talk about how your business has been affected. 

Watch for these Nomination Dates 

Online nominations for the Indigenous Business Award program open on June 15, 2020. Followed by the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art opening online on June 22, and the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design on June 29! Check online and Nominate! You can find more helpful tips on submitting a compelling nomination here

Be part of it  

Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards. Together we will hold each other up and inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc 

Why Nominate?

June is Nominate Month at BC Achievement.  

It’s important to elevate excellence through nominations for award programs – it raises awareness of the good things happening in our communities and inspires innovation, change and leadership. Nominating someone or their business for an award showcases their ongoing initiative, their dedicated commitment to their practice, their tenacity and their excellence in their chosen field. Nominating is a great way to demonstrate respect and gratitude for someone who achieves excellence in their endeavours and whose story can inspire others through this recognition. 

What are the benefits of a successful nomination to an awardee? Most importantly, it helps raise the profile of the awardee and the community they serve. It reinforces that the awardee is on the right path and it helps validate all the efforts they’ve put into their chosen field as being worthwhile. A successful nomination also helps share experiences with others in the field, creating role models and establishing platforms for change while bringing people together over common interests and passions. 

By recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, youth and volunteers, BC Achievement’s award programs pay tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work. Recognition serves as a tool that can contribute to growth and development of individuals, communities and organizations throughout the province. 

BC Achievement’s four award programs allow incredible people to be recognized by their peers. Do you know someone who fits these categories? Then nominate now and help shine the light on excellence in BC! 

Community Award – Recognizes those who go above and beyond expectations to better their communities 

Indigenous Business Award – Elevates excellence within   Indigenous-owned businesses 

Fulmer Award in First Nations Art – Celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. 

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Honours excellence in functional art and design  

Online nominations for the Indigenous Business Award program open on June 15, 2020. Followed by the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art opening online on June 22nd, and the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design on June 29thCheck online and Nominate!

Be part of it “elevate excellence in BC” and Nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards.