The entrance to Bill Reid Centre at the Burnaby campus.

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Students celebrate Coast Salish art at Bill Reid Centre

February 14, 2018
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By Emma Keeler-Dugas

A new exhibition at SFU’s Bill Reid Centre, Intangible: Memory and Innovation in Coast Salish Art, tells the stories of six Coast Salish artists through the lens of students enrolled in a Moving Images course in SFU’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology.

The students created six short, documentary-style videos about the artists, their work and how it reflects changes in tradition.

The exhibition, which is open until fall 2018 at the Burnaby campus, showcases the following artists:

·      Aaron Nelson-Moody, Skwxwú7mesh/Squamish, an engraver

·      Sesemiya/Tracy Williams, Skwxwú7mesh/Squamish, a textile artist

·      Roxanne Charles, Semiahmoo, mixed media artist

·      Ostwelve/Ronnie Dean Harris, Stó:lō/St’át’imc/Lil’wat/N’laka’pamux,

·      multimedia artist Marvin Oliver, Quinault/Isleta Pueblo, sculptor and printmaker

·      IessLIE/Leslie Sam, Cowichan, Penelakut & Esquimault, printmaker

Centre director Bryan Myles says the exhibition celebrates the distinct yet intangible connection between artists’ contemporary practice and the Coast Salish Art traditions of the past.

The exhibit includes artists’ biographies, wall panels and collages, and a large touch display where visitors can watch each short documentary.

“The students did a wonderful job,” says Myles. “You will see how the artists embrace new ideas, mixing traditional Coast Salish Art with contemporary art. They are bringing the past into the present, using new mediums and new materials.”