First Nations Art of British Columbia
Jun 16 - Aug 11, 2019
First Nations art of the Northwest Coast is among the most vivid, storied, and distinctive artwork in North America. It is rich in tradition and continually evolving with artists who hold a deep respect for traditional practice, yet emerge with unique interpretations, technical excellence, and mastery of materials.
 
This exhibition includes the artwork of established, mid-career, and emerging Northwest Coast First Nations artists who have a deep respect for traditional practice yet are keenly aware of their relationship to history and their place in contemporary First Nations culture.
 
The exhibition showcases the artists’ unique interpretations, technical excellence, and mastery of materials, and explores both traditional artwork and the social, cultural, and political activism of contemporary Northwest Coast art and design. 
 
IMAGE CREDIT: Sonny Assu Ligwildaxw Kwakwakawak Nation; Making a B Line to Haidabucks Salmonberry Frap; Digital Archival Print
(Note: gallery closed July 4 and July 26-27)

Participating artists: 
  • Brenda Crabtree is a practicing fiber artist from the Nlaka'pamux Nation, and consultant on the exhibition
  • Sonny Assu is a painter from the Heiltsuk Nation, Ligwilda'xw Territory
  • Dempsey Bob is a master wood-carver and celebrated leader from the Wolf Clan-Tahltan, Tlingit Nation 
  • Corey Bulpitt works in wood sculpture, jewelry, and engraving, and is Haida Nation from the Naikun Raven clan
  • Ben Davidson is a wood-carver from the Haida Nation, and son of renowned artist, Robert Davidson
  • Shawn Hunt is a contemporary painter of the Heiltsuk Nation
  • Xwalacktun works in wood, stone, glass, and metals of Coast Salish Kwakiutl and Squamish Nation, and is a cultural leader
  • Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is Coastal Salish and Okanagan Nation, and is a contemporary painter and social activist
This exhibition will introduce Northwest Coast First Nations art, history, and culture to Hawai‘i; provide an opportunity for learning, networking, capacity-building, and the sharing of art and stories; and forge alliances between First Nations and Native Hawaiian cultures and the people of Hawai‘i. This will be the first northwest coast First Nations exhibition shown on Maui.  

Viewers of this exhibit might also enjoy the performance “Dancers of Damelahamid” on July 19 in Castle Theater. Click HERE for information.
 
Events presented in conjunction with the exhibit:
Working with Hide  (held June 16):   Brenda Crabtree led participants through steps in making a deer hide rattle using traditional materials, techniques, and personal symbols. 
Symbols in Sculptural Form (held June 16):  Corey Bulpitt and Xwalacktun talked about their inspirations and approaches as seen in the contemporary designs of their work, and demonstrated techniques in carving and formline painting. 
Weaving Cedar Bark  (held June 17):   Brenda Crabtree presented  traditional Aboriginal techniques of weaving cedar bark and roots to make containers. 
 
FIRST NATIONS ART OF THE NORTHWEST COAST is presented by Maui Arts & Cultural Center in partnership with Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada; and the East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The exhibit is funded in part by Canada Council for the Arts, Hawai‘i Tourism through the Community Enrichment Program, and County of Maui - Office of Economic Development, with additional support from Denbigh Fine Art Services, Vancouver, Canada.