The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is pleased to host the 11th annual Northern Exposure exhibition representing the graduating students and instructors of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Aft at the Northwest Community College in Terrace, British Columbia.
This exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first graduation class and to celebrate this milestone we extended an invitation to past graduates to submit pieces to this exhibition. The master level instruction has attracted students from most of the Northwest Coast nations and each student is encouraged to explore their own tribal style as well as finding their personal artistic voice. The school continues to widen its mandate and now has a network that includes Maori colleges in New Zealand, The Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the YVR Art Foundation scholarship program (Vancouver International Airport), partnerships with various museums and cultural centres throughout British Columbia and a guest lecture series including curators and prominent Northwest Coast artists.
Early in their development of the curriculum, the Spirit Wrestler Gallery was approached about hosting a graduating exhibition that would offer students the opportunity to learn about the responsibilities of both galleries and artists in preparing for a major exhibition. Each year the gallery exhibition is timed to coincide with the presentation of the YVR Foundation scholarships and the students try to make the trip to Vancouver for both events. The opening of this exhibition is a highlight of the year for the with the room full of students, artists, family, curators and clients who gather to support the next generation of Northwest Coast artists.
The highlights from this year include:
2017 YVR Foundation Scholarship awarded to 2nd year graduate Jamie Nole and Alumni from 2016 graduating class Veronica Rose Whaechter
Mature student award (Bruce Byfield) awarded to Trena Marion and Joe Campbell.
President Award presented to Jamie Nole with Amanda Hugon as runner up.
We are pleased to invite you to attend the celebration on Saturday June 27th. Pieces in the exhibition are available for sale as of 10:00 am and a reception with artists and family at 1:00 pm.
September 9 - September 30, 2017
The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is honoured to be hosting the long-awaited second collaborative exhibition, Pacific Currents - New Collaborations in Glass and Jade, by Seattle-based Tlingit glass artist, Preston Singletary, and leading Māori pounamu jade artist, Lewis Gardiner, from Aotearoa (New Zealand).
In 2007, their first exhibition, Fire & Water - Pacific Visions in Glass & Jade, captured the attention of our audience with its ground-breaking collection of innovative artworks that merged new materials together in shapes, designs and stories found in both cultural art-forms. The originality of these artworks proved that creativity could overcome cultural differences and distances between the artists working on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. The success of their first collaboration beckoned for an encore.
The creative beginnings of this second exhibition began many years ago but the artists' busy schedules of other exhibitions, teaching, commissions, cultural and family commitments, delayed its completion.
Over the years despite the challenge of being artists at a distance, their mutual artistic respect and friendship had kept the communication alive. Both artists were still intrigued to pursue this second exhibition and have the opportunity to further explore similar stories that existed between the Northwest Coast and Māori cultures. It is now a decade later and we finally have the much anticipated collection of 20 exciting new artworks.
Preston Singletary has been an ambassador for the glass medium to First Nation cultures internationally, including several trips to New Zealand to introduce glass to Māori artists. Glass is seen as a chameleon material that can imitate other materials including many that are seen as rare and endangered to the world and to the very future of certain artistic traditions. For the last 20 years, Lewis Gardiner has been a leading pounamu jade artist in New Zealand. He has accepted invitations to exhibit his creations in China, as well as in New Zealand and Canada, and still continues to explore monumental jade (pounamu) at a time of scarcity that limits access to a material considered a cultural taonga (treasure). Glass and jade are such compatible mediums as they are both translucent and activated by light.
We believe the ten year wait has been worthwhile as we reveal this inspired second collection, Pacific Currents, that continues to explore and develop on new ideas and forms found in their traditional cultural stories. Both artists have been inspired by the flora and fauna of their natural environment, as well as by the ceremonial objects that are both worn and presented in sacred ceremonial settings. The design forms cleverly blend Māori and Northwest flat design onto traditional sculpted forms.
We invite you to see the exhibition in person and to meet these two important artists who created this amazing collection.
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Canada V6J 1K1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.
Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
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