June 21, 2017: Nanaimo, BC – In celebration of National Aboriginal Day, TimberWest is proud to announce its First Nation Cultural Art Showcase Program which recognizes and supports three First Nation artists representing their major language group on Vancouver Island. The program commissions the artists to design, create and showcase their cultural art work at a seven-week art show in September hosted at the Nanaimo Art Gallery at Vancouver Island University (VIU).
The artists are: Curtis Wilson from Wei Wai Kum in the Kwakwaka’wakw territory, Richard Thomas from Snuneymuxw in the Coast Salish territory, and Vince Smith of the Ehattesaht tribe in the Nuu-chah-nulth territory.
“We are pleased to shine a spotlight on these remarkable artists, and provide the public with a viewing experience that will tell a story about Vancouver Island’s First Nation culture.” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “We look forward to the opening event in September at VIU.”
“I am honoured that I was selected to represent the Kwakwaka’wakw territory, and I am excited to showcase my catalogue of work at my alma mater,” says Curtis Wilson, artist. “My motto is the belief that every day is a learning experience and we must do our best to pass on our cultural knowledge to future generations. This opportunity is one avenue to accomplish that goal.”
“Knowing that my catalogue of work will be shown at VIU, and thousands of students will interact with my heritage and culture, makes me proud,” says Richard Thomas, artist. “There is no better way to start a dialogue or to understand another point of view than through art.”
“My art tells a story, and I want to share that story with the people across Vancouver Island,” says Vince Smith, artist. “I honed my skills at VIU years ago, and when I was a young artist it meant a great deal to interact with a First Nation artist and understand their point of view. My mentors were Tim Paul of Hesquiaht and Ron Hamilton of Hupetchasaht. I hope I can be that for some of the students there now.”
“Hosting the seven-week art show at the beginning of the school year will certainly be a highlight for the students and the local community,” says William Litchfield, Chief Advancement Officer at Vancouver Island University. “We love partnering with companies like TimberWest, because they understand the importance of being a part of the community and finding interesting ways to acknowledge and recognize talent. This First Nation Cultural art program is an exceptional way to engage the public to learn more about the three language groups on Vancouver Island and First Nation culture. ”
Artist profiles and artwork will be shared over the summer on TimberWest’s blog and social media channels. The art showcase will take place September, 2017.
To learn more about the artists:
Curtis Wilson: http://curtiswilson.ca/
Richard Thomas: https://ihosgallery.com/collections/richard-thomas/plaques
TimberWest is a member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. TimberWest has been operating for over 100 years on the BC Coast. All its public and private forest lands are third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. TimberWest is privately owned by two leading Canadian pension funds.
For further information:
Monica Bailey|Director, Communications