Creating new spaces for meaningful engagement with contemporary art, intentionally developed learning experiences, and respectful dialogue around important themes. Each “Remote Access Program” is purpose built for its community, featuring local leadership, consultation, and direction by arts professionals from within those communities.
Gord Hill, Kwakwaka’wakw writer/artist and activist lead a three day silkscreen workshop at the Campbell River Art Gallery for youth ages 13-18 November 18-20th, 2022. Hill will lend his 30+ years talents as an DIY artist specializing in zines with a focus on history from an Indigenous perspective. His latest book, ‘The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book’, chronicles the multiple times in history that Indigenous peoples have resisted colonial rule in an inspiring graphic novel. Youth will be led on an artistic journey for self representation through drawing and learning step by step how to create a silkscreen print. We will be providing food for up to 10 participants.
Bracken Hanuse Corlett
I have been thinking about painting this SeaCan for quite a few months and as the days
turned to nights I always came back to the Sisiutl (Double-Headed Sea Serpent) as a box
design. The Sea Can’s main use is as a commercial shipping container, often traveling on the
ocean over long distances. Sea Can’s are also used for housing, workspaces, storage and as
surface for design. The Sea Can’s shape has some similarities to our Bentwood Boxes that
we use in ceremony/Potlatch and for storing sacred and everyday items. The Sisiutl carries
teachings of choice and balance. I was taught that the Sisiutl is a carrier of Truth above Deceit
and Love over Hate.
Bracken Hanuse Corlett is a interdisciplinary artist hailing from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose
Nations. He initially worked in theatre and performance for five years and then shifted towards
his current practice that fuses painting & drawing with digital-media, audio-visual
performance, animation and narrative. He graduated from the En’owkin Centre for Indigenous
Art and then went to school at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, while also receiving
training in Northwest Coast art, design and carving from acclaimed Heiltsuk Artists Bradley
Hunt and his sons Shawn and Dean. Working with and researching ancestral forms is central
to his work as well as an openness to working with new media and tools. Much of his current
process is collaborative, which includes working with youth, community and fellow working
artists. He has exhibited, performed and screened his work locally and internationally and has
received public art commissions in a number of cities/territories.
Four Satellite Campus programs were first delivered in 2021, consisting of barrier-free workshops developed and delivered by professional, Indigenous artists hailing from traditional territories around Northern Vancouver Island and the nearby Discovery Islands. Incorporating principles of reconciliation and decolonization, the CRAG acted only as a structure of support, empowering the artists and community leaders to determine the parameters of their program and the exploration of participants’ own contemporary, cultural expressions. Each Satellite Campus program forged important partnerships with remote Indigenous communities leading towards sustained relationships.
Central to the Satellite Campus program is the concept of self-determination for remote Indigenous communities. The nature of each public outreach program is informed by the specific needs of its community, as established by professional artists and leaders from within those communities. Principles of reconciliation and accessibility are built in, creating barrier free opportunities for participants to engage in meaningful, self directed art-making.
Exhibiting the “artefacts” from these community workshops not only elevates the work produced, but initiates an important dialogue with the greater Campbell River community on the interests, values, concerns, and artistic excellence coming from these regions. Exhibiting in our Satellite Gallery activates this very public space, and exposes the work to countless visitors and tourists.
A̱MŁA IN TSAX̱IS and A̱MŁA IN YA̱LIS: North Island public art project, Artist Facilitators : Skeena Reece (Metis/Cree and Tsimshian/Gitksan) and Corrine Hunt (Kwakwaka’wakw/Tlingit)
A̱mła in Kwak’wala means “let’s play.” Professional artists Corrine Hunt and Skeena Reece led participants to explore the evolution of traditional Northwest Coast Indigenous art and language, finding ways to bring it into our modern world.
Workshops held over multiple days, in both Fort Rupert and Alert Bay, allowed participants to develop a deeper understanding of how traditional artforms have changed through time. They shared language (Kwak’wala), knowledge, songs, and experiences to inform the artwork.
The final result were two separate public murals reflecting contemporary stories and Indigenous identities: a painted driftwood installation outside U’mista Cultural Centre, and spray painted stencils of hands around the village of Tsax̱is.
Honouring our Gəngənanəm, Artist Facilitator: Avis O’Brien (Haida and Kwakwaka’wakw)
This workshop offered Liǧwiłdax̌w youth in Cape Mudge an opportunity to explore utilising their breath, bodies, and weaving as forms of healing during this time of grief and loss.
The group cultivated wellness by weaving around a residential school desk, surrounding the darkness embedded in the desk with cedar, their most powerful healing medicine. Each strand of cedar represents the lives of Gəngənanəm (children) lost, and the strength, resilience & wisdom this generation of youth carries to heal from the attempted and ongoing colonial genocide forced upon their people.
Verna Wallace, Elder and Residential School survivor attended the workshop and shared her personal story of attending St. Michael’s. The accompanying documentary shares the experience participants went through.
Honouring our Gəngənanəm Documentary – this shares the experience participants went through. The film may be triggering and emotional for some viewers.
all my tiičma, Artist Facilitator: Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw Kwakwaka’wakw)
This public art project was directed at individuals experiencing homelessness in Campbell River, in response to the stigma and isolation this community regularly faces. With many sleeping in our doorways overnight, the project reaches out in an intentional way, providing access to meaningful contemporary art.
Through a mentorship between established professional artist Sonny Assu and emerging artists, Paul Vincent John (ʔiiḥatisatḥ činax̣int / Ehattesaht-Chinehkints First Nation) and Charles Jules (Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nation) a design was conceived, drawn, and vectored for installation in the doorways of the building, creating a welcoming space for community members to spend time, feel loved, empowered, and uplifted.
The final result is a memorial that honours a loved one lost. Artwork created by her peers, for her peers.
Self-Location Workshop, Artist Facilitator: Hjalmer Wenstob (Nuu-chah-nulth)
Tla-o-qui-aht artist Hjalmer Wenstob first introduced an Experiential Panel Discussion on Cultural Appropriation as part of the Carving on the Edge Festival in Ucluelet, BC. The deeply introspective self-location writing exercises were a way of laying the groundwork to support the important, albeit uncomfortable, conversations around cultural appropriation.
The Self-Location Workshop continued this work, allowing participants to transform their self-awareness into art, creating sketches, drawings, and a series of lino-cut prints. Students also learned more about Indigenous studio arts and the impacts of cultural appropriation, with a specific focus on Nuu-chah-nulth and Pacific Northwest Coast art practices.