with Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicholson, Richard Van Camp, and Ellyn Walker
A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.
Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting more than 120 full-colour works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.
Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Richard Van Camp, Marianne Nicolson, Candice Hopkins, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humour, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the Canadian contemporary art world.
Over his lifetime, Bill Reid (1920 – 1998) created many historic sculptures, paintings jewellery pieces and serigraphs inspired by his Haida heritage. The large bronze sculpture The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, nicknamed The Jade Canoe and displayed at the Vancouver International Airport, and The Raven and the First Men, a yellow cedar carving, have both been featured on the Canadian $20 bill. In addition to the immense praise he received for his artwork, Reid was also the recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1994. This volume showcases more than 150 of Reid’s most significant works in beautiful photographs.
This catalogue was published by Nisga’a Museum in conjunction with the exhibition Finding A Voice: The Art of Norman Tait held at Nisga’a Museum from May 30 to August 29, 2015 and at the West Vancouver Museum from October 14 to December 5, 2015.
Norman Tait (b. 1941) has been devoted to art since childhood. Imbued with a deep connection to his Nisga’a heritage and family, Tait has utilized his artistic gifts and transcended the quotidian to create the extraordinary. Self-taught, this self-critical and highly engaged artist has, over the past five decades, researched and explored his Nation’s rich cultural heritage and forged a voice for himself that speaks through his myriad of sculptural and two dimensional works. This voice is driven by a passion to reinvent traditional narratives within a contemporary context and provide ways in which to connect his ancestral heritage to today’s fast paced and changing world.
Karen Duffek is the Curator of Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest at the UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA). Her research focus lies both in the history of Northwest Coast Aboriginal collectionsâ€•including connecting and documenting historical objects, particularly those made and used during the period of potlatch prohibition, with descendants and originating community membersâ€•and in the relationship of contemporary art to cultural practice. Among her many exhibitions are Projections: The Painted Art of Henry Speck, Udzi’stalis (co-curated with Marcia Crosby, 2012) and a collaboration with artist Peter Morin in Peter Morin’s Museum (2011), both at MOA’s Satellite Gallery; Border Zones: New Art across Cultures (MOA, 2010); Robert Davidson: The Abstract Edge (MOA, with tour to the National Gallery of Canada, 2044-2007); and with Tom Hill, the now historical Beyond History (Vancouver Art Gallery, 1989). Her publications include the webzine borderzones.ca (2010) and the books Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art (co-edited with Charlotte Townsent-Gault, 2004), Robert Davidson: The Abstract Edge (2004), and the Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations (co-authored with Bill McLennan, 2000).
Vickie Jensen is a Vancouver-based photographer and author who began photographing Norman Tait’s work in the mid 1980s. She wrote her first book, Where the People Gather: Bringing a Log to Life, (reprinted in paperback as Totem Pole Carving), based on three months of intense collaboration as Tait and his crew carved a 42-foot doorway pole. “We talked, discussed the photos I was taking, shared the meals I cookedâ€•it was a transforming experience in my life. And getting to know Norman’s family was an unexpected bonus. “ Jensen also wrote about this pole in the children’s book Carving a Totem Pole and has featured Tait’s work in a third book, The Totem Poles of Stanley Park, expanded and re-titled in 2015 as Totem Poles and the Lure of Stanley Park. As of 2005 her extensive text and photo documentation of Norman Tait’s career is part of the Jensen-Powell Fonds housed in the Museum of Anthropology Archives.
Darrin Martens is currently the Chief Curator of the Audain Art Museum. Prior to this position he served as the Director of the Nisga’a Museum and Director/curator of Burnaby Art Gallery. Martens has a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of British Columbia with a focus on Critical Curatorial Studies. He is also a fellow of Claremont Graduate University’s J. Paul Getty Foundation’s Museum Leadership Institute. Prior to his studies at UBC he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Regina. Marten’s passion lies in exploring Canadian art history and in particular artists of First Nations heritage. He has curated over 50 exhibitions and contributed to over 30 publications.
Shirley Morven, whose Nisga’a name is Angaye’e, was born in Gitlaxt’aamiks, British Columbia. She is one of the members of the Gitwilnnaak’il’ Wolf clans from that ancient community. She is currently the Chairperson for Nisga’a Lisims Government’s Council of Elders and where she is one of the four national officers. She is also charged with the oversight of Collections and Exhibitions on the Nisga’a Museum Advisory Committee. She has served in several other capacities over her lifetime, always with a focus on formal and traditional Nisga’a practices. She has functioned as District Principal for Nisga’a Language and Culture for School District # 92. In addition she was chairperson for the Nisga’a Valley Health Board for 1 ½ terms just at the turn of the century, and on the New Aiyansh Band Council for two terms prior to the Nisga’a attaining their autonomy.
Published in 2015
“This book tells my story behind the [2010 Olympic] medals – the peace symbol, the soul replaced by the hand, ayasu, “stop hey what’s that sign,” my childhood hippyness all groovy with happiness, a journey to far out places doing things I have never done before like co-designing an Olympic Medal.
The story is about community, the random nature of connections, the chance meetings, and the simple idea that we need each other to thrive, much like my community which continually supports me in my random acts of madness, kindness or both.” – Corrine Hunt
Published in 2012
A gorgeous collection of prints by one of the Northwest’s leading artists
Over the past thirty years Susan Point has become the preeminent Coast Salish artist of her generation, exploring many different modern and traditional themes in a wide variety of media. She has received major public commissions in her home province of British Columbia as well as throughout the Northwest coast, the traditional territory of her people, creating extraordinary monumental sculptures that grace important public buildings. Her glass sculptures are collected around the world.
This is the first book devoted exclusively to her works on paper. Over the past thirty years Point has been an innovator in printmaking, adapting traditional Coast Salish themes to modern art techniques, translating the heritage of her culture to the wider world while creating a body of work that appeals to art collectors from around the globe. Her synthesis of contemporary and traditional styles has resulted in a formidable artistic accomplishment. This beautifully designed volume collects 160 of her prints together for the first time and is sure to inspire and amaze those who see it.
Published in 2014
The Tsimshian people of coastal British Columbia use a system of hereditary name-titles in which names are treated as objects of inheritable wealth. Human agency and social status resides in names rather than in the individuals who hold these names, and the politics of succession associated with names and name-taking rituals have been, and continue to be, at the centre of Tsimshian life.
Published in 2008
Presenting the most interesting and exceptional people and places of British Columbia, this photographic exploration offers an insider’s perspective on all the region has to offer. With a foreword by sports icon, philanthropist, and proud resident Steve Nash, this tour is divided into seven thematic chapters, each containing four geographical subchapters. From alluring Vancouver in the lower mainland to tranquil Vancouver Island, home to the historic capital, Victoria, the unique splendor of this remarkable area—including local art galleries, world-class ski resorts, restaurants and shops with international and regional flair, and businesses that give back to the community—is profiled alongside some of British Columbia’s best-kept secrets. Includes 365 color pages
Published in 2010
This book recounts the history of Haida argillite carving since it began in the early 1800s, and describes more than 200 examples from the extensive collection of the Royal British Columbia Museum.
Argillite is a dense, black shale mined from a quarry on Haida Gwaii, reserved for the exclusive use of Haida carvers. Argillite works are unique in style and character, ranging from ceremonial pipes and model poles to elaborate platters and chests.
Published in 2002
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