2012 B.C. First Nations’ Art Awards Announced

by aanationtalk on October 15, 2012722 Views

Oct. 12, 2012

Vancouver – Premier Christy Clark and British Columbia Achievement Foundation Chair Keith Mitchell today announced the 2012 BC Creative Achievement Award recipients for First Nations’ Art.

“We are honored to recognize the six artists named today for their creative excellence and cultural contributions,” said Premier Clark. “We all celebrate the traditional and contemporary interpretations of the stories of the First Nations from across the Province.

Norman Tait, a Nisga’a artist from Vancouver, was named the recipient of the 2012 Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art, a prestigious award given to an artist who has made a profound impact on the community and First Nations’ culture.

The 2012 award recipients of the Annual BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art, a juried competition celebrating artistic excellence in traditional, contemporary or media art are:

  • Wayne Alfred, Kwakwaka’wakw, Alert Bay
  • Morgan Green, Tsimshian, Vancouver
  • Philip Janze, Gitxsan, Hazelton
  • Skeena Reece, Tsimshian/Gitxsan/Cree, Ucluelet
  • David Wilson, Okanagan, Vernon

“From carving to jewelry to painting and performance art, these award-winning artists join 45 artists previously recognized with these awards,” said Mitchell. “It is the Foundation’s great privilege to recognize excellence in First Nations’ art.”

The five juried award recipients will each receive $5,000 and the seal of the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art.

Premier Clark will present the awards at a ceremony to be held on Nov. 19, 2012 in Vancouver.

The BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art are presented with the generous support of Polygon Homes Ltd.

Kathleen Bartels, director of the Vancouver Art Gallery and a director of the BC Achievement Foundation, chaired an independent jury panel that selected the 2012 award recipients. The jurors included Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal program manager, Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Bill McLennan, curator, Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Richard Sumner, Kwakwaka’wakw carver and artist and recipient of a 2010 BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ art and Cathi Charles Wherry, art program manager, First People’s Heritage, Language and Culture Council.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation was established and endowed by the Province of British Columbia in 2003 to celebrate excellence and achievement in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. For information on British Columbia Achievement Foundation, visitwww.bcachievement.com


Nora Newlands
Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation
604 618-6949

A backgrounder follows.


2012 B.C. First Nations’ Art Awards Recipients

Morgan Green, Tsimshian
Morgan Green is a passionate, revitalizing force in Tsimshian culture. She infuses Tsimshian tradition with a contemporary approach. She experiments with many different media and styles: metal engraving and casting, wood sculpture, painting, traditional regalia and fashion design. Morgan has apprenticed with artists Richard Adkins and Henry Green and learned European jewelry techniques from a German master goldsmith. She’s developing her own contemporary style, with a deep respect for the traditions of Tsimshian art.

David Lloyd Wilson, Okanagan
David Wilson’s beautiful and complex paintings have evolved from his childhood fascination with ancient Interior Salish pictographs. He studied the styles and principles of Haida and Coast Salish art, but his preoccupation has always been with the art of the Interior Salish. His work is inspired by the same stories of the natural and spiritual world depicted in the rock paintings of his ancestors. He’s not only created the work; he’s worked hard to share it, with public displays in Vernon’s Spirit Square, Performing Arts Centre and Jubilee Hospital.

Skeena Reece, Tsimshian/Gitskan/Cree
Skeena Reece is a multi-disciplinary artist who challenges, informs and enlightens audiences through her performance art, video, photography and the characters she creates. Skeena studied at Northwest Community College, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and the Banff Centre of Arts. She incorporates her multi-tribal Tsimshian/Cree/Metis heritage into a mix of traditional knowledge, humor, socio-political observations and spiritual testaments to transform viewers’ preconceived notions of the Aboriginal experience .

Philip Janze, Gitskan
More than 40 years ago, Gitksan artist Philip Janze hammered and carved his first piece of silver out of a coin. That began a lifelong exploration of gold and silver jewelry. Early on he made painstaking efforts to learn from other artists and mastered the technique of repoussé. In the decades since, he’s produced a fine body of delicate and intricate pieces that have won him worldwide recognition. He’s also carved wood and made silkscreen prints. Influenced by his grandmother, Flora Martin among others, he is recognized as a leader in the revival of Northwest Coast Art.

Wayne Alfred, Kwakwaka’wakw
Wayne Alfred’s work expresses the traditional culture of the Namgis Band and the oral and written traditions of his family. His carving of poles, boxes, masks, bowls, frontlets and rattles reflects historical accuracy and impeccable technique. As an historian and dancer, he brings an authentic sensibility to all his work. Wayne’s art has been showcased in critical exhibitions and catalogues of First Nations’ Northwest Coast art and is in collections around the world.

Norman Tait, Nisga’a
Innovative master artist Norman Tait is widely celebrated for the exquisite craftsmanship and beauty of his work. The designs are clean, the carving is immaculate and expressive. But more than that, his pieces evoke strong feelings in people who see them. Because he’s a storyteller, speaking in an authentic, distinctive Nisga’a voice. Norman Tait’s style is like no other; unique yet respectful of the Tsimshian tradition that is his cultural foundation. Early influences – Freda Diesing (design), Gerry Marks (silver engraving) and his father, Josiah Tait (poles) – contributed to Norman becoming the foremost Nisga’a artist working in wood, precious metals and graphics. His poles have been raised around the world, in places like Port Edward, Chicago, London, Osaka, Stanley Park and UBC’s Museum of Anthropology.

Detailed information about the awards and a list of past winners is posted on the foundation’s website at www.bcachievement.com.


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