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Where the Spirits Gather 2005

Opened November 26, 2005

Contemporary and diverse in nature, Where the Spirits Gather is an inspiring group exhibition highlighting many of the gifted Northwest Coast First Nations' artists who have mastered the art of transcending form into an oral language that speaks loudly to tradition, heritage and purpose.

As First Nations art and culture continues to evolve and grow in a significant way, it is ultimately our goal to showcase the diverse coastal styles along with their exploration of medium. One can make the analogy that Where the Spirits Gather references a dwelling or a longhouse. The spirits of people from all facets of life gather to experience a common cultural principle. There are many spirits that gather at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.

The spirit of First Nations' culture is deeply rooted in their artwork, which is both spiritually inspiring and insightful. While it's clearly defined in this collection, individual styles are highly prevalent. The most powerful is the spirit of creation radiating from each distinct work of art. The expression of spirituality extends from artist to object thereby narrating a story relating to mythology or ancestry. Varying in scale and medium, each piece shares a contemporary yet traditional duality that encompasses a significant and relevant symbology.

Introduced in this collection are a new generation of artists alongside renowned masters to demonstrate the way this art flourishes from one generation to the next and how it has evolved through time and knowledge. Featured is master carver and Haida artisan, Christian White who adorns his creations with Abalone Shell, precious stones and Mastodon Ivory. Comparatively, Darrell White adds gold to his highly-detailed and masterly-carved Argillite works. Alternatively, Namgis-Kwakwaka'wakw artist Kevin Cranmer experiments and enhances each work with Brass applique. Each masterful technique of these artists highlights and exemplifies the diversification that continues to flourish throughout British Columbia's coastal nations.

An inspiring time, the 21st century has brought about such evolutions that did not exist in the past, but broaden the imagination and appreciation for this ancient art form. We are pleased to present this group exhibition focusing on the spiritual connection each created work of art possess set in with the gallery's objective in representing a diverse spectrum of coastal mediums demonstrating masterful skill in technique and embellishment. We hope you enjoy viewing the exhibition and consider the many ways in which the idea of spirituality manifests itself within and among the artworks presented.

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