Born in 1982, Kelly Cannell is a Coast Salish artist who, from birth, has been exposed to the endeavors and teachings of her mother Susan A. Point. Kelly has often helped her mother with painting and woodcarving and as a result is becoming fluent with the use of Coast Salish traditional elements. Kelly also has a strong connection to nature, which she has nourished and intensified through her world-wide travels. This connection to the natural world is one of Kelly’s most cherished sources of inspiration.
Kelly officially began her art career when she was merely twelve years old, with her fist collaborative silk screen print. At the age of seventeen, Kelly was commissioned by Canadian Air to create an original logo for their team’s t-shirts in the annual international world airline road race.
Since then, Kelly began pursuing her passion for glass, studying at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and The Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She also continues to study part-time at Emily Carr University, where she has branched out into mediums such as silkscreen printing and acrylic painting. This extraordinarily diverse education has helped Kelly redefine her style and perspective, challenging her to expand beyond traditional themes and push the boundaries of traditional Coast Salish art.
In recent years Kelly has created several collaborative screen prints with Susan and has worked on a number of her own private commissions. She was selected as one of the successful entrants (along with Susan) in a competition to design new storm sewer covers for the City of Vancouver. Kelly also has solo public works at the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) Vancouver, Vancouver Community College Broadway campus, and Musqueam Community Centre. Most recently, Kelly created the Canada 150 lightbox mural at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Downtown Vancouver.
Kelly’s work embodies the fluid and continuously evolving nature of contemporary Coast Salish art forms. These art forms are rooted in the knowledge, traditions and history of the Coast Salish people, and continue to influence and shape the lived experiences of Kelly, her community, and her two young children. Each of her pieces communicate an important story or lesson, which is inspired by the rich Coast Salish culture from which she comes. Ultimately, Kelly’s work reminds us all to respect both our surroundings and each other. As such, her work serves as a poignant commentary on the social, political, and environmental climates of our modern world.
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2019 Redefining, a solo exhibition at the Deer Lake Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC
2011 Coast Salish Masterworks: Connecting the Past to the Present
Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
2009 Continuum: Vision and Creativity on the Northwest Coast, a group exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver, BC.