Susan Point RCA
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.”
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)
by Susan Point & Kelly Cannell
Serigraph, Printer’s Proof, Edition I of II
(For inquiries about custom framing please contact the gallery)
Printer’s Proof (PP) – The print the Master Printer is entitled to keep out of the edition as a record of the work done.
Serigraph, Printer’s Proof, Edition I of II
(For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery.)
This limited-edition serigraph was created utilizing Susan’s granite installation Salish Path at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology as inspiration. Welcoming visitors to the recently revamped museum, Salish Path showcases the advancement of materials and techniques in First Nations work while staying true to the beliefs and history of her culture.
In Susan’s words: “The artwork for this project is a crop of a print I did in 2006 called ‘Peripheral Visions – Salish Footprint,’ however, over time it has been revised quite a bit in order to make the overall design work in stone. The imagery is based on the whorls and lines of a thumb or toe print, transformed using distinctive Salish elements, and incorporating many of the life forms found in the land, sea, and skies surrounding the Museum of Anthropology. The artwork emphasizes the Salish connection to the site – a reminder that the surrounding land is Musqueam traditional territory and a welcome from the Musqueam people to this territory.
The imagery in this design, although done in my own contemporary style, is created incorporating traditional Salish elements (basically, reflecting the Salish vocabulary/alphabet in my artistic style). The imagery within reflects salmon and birds; and upon a closer look other subtle images can be seen (left to the viewer’s creativity).
This work emphasizes the Salish connection to these lands – in many cases the artwork itself is a Salish mark that is written into the earth as a visual expression of the link between the Musqueam people and the MOA site. The artwork also refers to many aspects of Musqueam life — our connection to the water, our weaving tradition, our links to our ancestors through storytelling and so on. In laying out the colors of the stonework, the red running through the center represents the blood of the people (all peoples). The stone is laid out haphazardly to make the point that no one’s imprint is the same. The layout also complements the architecture. As well, it relates to Musqueam house posts and cross beam architecture.”
The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.
A selection of public artworks by this artist installed either locally, nationally or internationally.