Susan Point

Northwest Coast Native Artist Susan Point from Coast Salish Musqueam Nation

Coast Salish (Musqueam) Nation

Susan Point is a Musqueam First Nations artist.  She was born in 1952 and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Susan artistic career began in 1981 and she immersed herself in the study of traditional Coast Salish art, and emerged with a language of design, both authentic yet vibrantly contemporary.

As well as practicing traditional motifs, Susan also expresses her own personal style.  Like many First Nations artists, she uses the meaning found in traditional art to create innovative work in a wide range of mediums. Susan initially began producing fine art in precious metals, serigraphs and acrylic paintings; however, she is now producing large scale public art in mediums which include glass, wood, stainless steel and concrete.  Many of Susan’s works can currently be found in private and corporate collections in over twenty countries around the world.

From the Artist: “Coast Salish art is relatively unknown to most people today as it was an almost lost art form after European contact — the reason being is that Salish lands were the first to be settled by the Europeans which adversely affected my peoples’ traditional life-style.

Today, much of the native art associated with the Pacific Northwest Coast is from principle tribes of northern British Columbia.  Because of this, over the years, I spent a great deal of my time, as a Coast Salish artist, trying to revive traditional Coast Salish art in an attempt to educate the public to the fact that there was, and still is, another art form indigenous to the central Pacific Northwest Coast.

Although most of my earlier work is very traditional, today I am experimenting with contemporary mediums and themes; however, I still incorporate my ancestral design elements into my work to conditioning as well as social and economic conditions.

In creating my art, I feel a need to continually express my cultural background and beliefs yet, at the same time, my work continues to evolve with changes within and outside of my community.”

 

Awards:

2007     British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art

2016     British Columbia Lifetime Creative Achievement Award

 

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2011     Coast Salish Masterworks: Connecting the Past to the Present, Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.

 

Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)

Present Works

  • Coast Salish Housepost

    Susan Point

    Price upon request

    Red Cedar wood, Copper, Acrylic paint

    10.5ft x 4ft x 4 ft (including base)

    Own a piece of history…this Salish Housepost was carved during the 2010 Olympic Games in full public view at Susan Point’s temporary satellite studio outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.  The cedar wood used originates from a reclaimed fallen tree from the Stanley Park storm in 2009.

  • Where the Ocean Connects to the Sky Housepost

    Susan Point

    Price upon request

    Glass, etched and sandblasted, Gypsum rock

    Red Cedar wood base, Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint

    Edition of 5

    Exclusive to Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery

    Susan Point’s monumental glass housepost, Where the Ocean Connects to the Sky, reveals the connection between all living creatures – both the physical and spiritual which ties into the core of existence.

    The ‘thread of life’ represented by the ‘cedar rope’ in the centre lies at the heart of this design, linking the surrounding Killerwhales, Salmon, Eagles and Ravens. The ocean is illustrated by the Killerwhales which feed upon the Salmon. The Eagles and Ravens illustrate the sky.

    Killerwhales and humans are believed to be closely related. They symbolize long life, and it is thought that great Chiefs transform into Killerwhales when deceased.  The Eagle is a symbol of power, and Eagle down represents peace and friendship. Its alter ego, the Raven, is considered the hero, the trickster, transformer and creator.  Salmon are a central part of life as a main sustenance of both humans and creatures.

    Susan Point pays homage to First Nation mythology and ideology. This uniquely designed housepost illuminates how tradition can be re-interpreted into a modern day context, as can life lessons associated with stories and legends.  Point’s contemporized and beautifully designed work is a testament to her artistry and First Nation’s tradition and culture

  • Eagle’s Play Glass Rattle

    Susan Point

    Price upon request

    Hand blown glass, Red Cedar wood base

    This beautiful contemporary rattle is made with hand-blown glass, an example of Susan Point’s balance between traditional and contemporary styles. It demonstrates her ability to diversify, yet reveals her respect for tradition and ancient mythology. Based on an ancient implement, a spindle whorl was used for spinning wool into yarn for the process of creating fine woolen blankets.⁠

  • Hecate Strait Scarf – State I

    Susan Point

    $420.00 CAD

    100% Silk; Limited Edition of 100

    Exclusively available through Coastal Peoples Gallery

    “Hecate Strait is a wide but shallow strait between Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and the mainland of British Columbia.  Hecate Strait, because it is so shallow, is especially susceptible to violent storms and weather; therefore, has always been revered by the Northwest Coast First Nations Peoples.

    The shallow waters make it an abundant place for marine life, especially for spotting Orcas and Humpback Whales breaching.

    In this scarf design, I’ve illustrated the turbulent waters, abundance of Orcas, and Salmon.

    Orcas are great guardians of the ocean, with Seals as slaves and Dolphins as warriors.  Orcas are closely related to humans; I was told many legends as a child of the whale people and their villages beneath the sea.

    Salmon are a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity because Salmon are the primary food source for the people of the Northwest Coast.  It is also symbolic of dependability and renewal representing the provider of life.  Salmon in pairs are good luck.”

    – Susan Point, 2018

  • Hecate Strait Scarf – State II

    Susan Point

    $420.00 CAD

    100% Silk; Limited Edition of 100

    Exclusively available through Coastal Peoples Gallery

    “Hecate Strait is a wide but shallow strait between Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and the mainland of British Columbia.  Hecate Strait, because it is so shallow, is especially susceptible to violent storms and weather; therefore, has always been revered by the Northwest Coast First Nations Peoples.

    The shallow waters make it an abundant place for marine life, especially for spotting Orcas and Humpback Whales breaching.

    In this scarf design, I’ve illustrated the turbulent waters, abundance of Orcas, and Salmon.

    Orcas are great guardians of the ocean, with Seals as slaves and Dolphins as warriors.  Orcas are closely related to humans; I was told many legends as a child of the whale people and their villages beneath the sea.

    Salmon are a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity because Salmon are the primary food source for the people of the Northwest Coast.  It is also symbolic of dependability and renewal representing the provider of life.  Salmon in pairs are good luck.”

    – Susan Point, 2018

  • Salish Inlet State I – Black

    Susan Point

    $600.00 CAD

    Serigraph, State I, Edition of 40

    2020

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • Pacific Spirit Trail State I

    Susan Point

    $650.00 CAD

    Serigraph, State I, Edition of 25

    2019

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

  • Pacific Spirit Trail State II

    Susan Point

    $650.00 CAD

    Serigraph, State II, Edition of 25

    2019

    Unframed

    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

Past Works

The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, commissions may be available – please inquire here (please note that not every artist accepts commissions).

Public Works

A selection of public artworks by this artist installed either locally, nationally or internationally.