Dec 082014

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Rivers, 2014 Kamloops, British Columbia

A sculpture commissioned from Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas by the city of Kamloops celebrates confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers in Kamloops. This confluence goes on to form the largest tributary of the Fraser River.

 This new sculpture echoes of the exhilarating form of Yahgulanaas’s 2010 sculpture at Thunderbird Arena at the University of British Columbia.

 See the video

 The paperback version of Yahgulanaas’s book Red, A Haida Manga, was launched at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in November. The 5-metre mural that relates to the book will be exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum on February 2015. Also in 2015, in September, a book about the artist’s work will be published by Black Dog Press: The Seriousness of Play by Nicola Levell. See


Dec 082014

A monumental project underway in Vancouver honours a Portuguese immigrant who married a Coast Salish woman in the nineteenth century. The many descendants of this couple live along the British Columbia coast. Among them is the artist Luke Marston, who initiated and has carried out the project. A complex 16.5’ bronze sculpture of this story has been installed in at Brockton Point in Stanley Park; the official unveiling is scheduled for April 25, 2015. A book by Suzanne Fournier about Marston and his project published by Harbour Publishing was launched in November at the Bill Reid Gallery.(See The Beat June 2013)

Informative photographs and a video can be seen at

Apr 142014

Return to the Land of the Headhunters : Edward S. Curtis, the Kwakwaka’wakw, and the Making of Modern Cinema

A newly restored version of Edward Curtis’s film The Land of the Headhunters was screened in Vancouver in 2008, along with excellent dance performances by members of the same Kwakwaka’wakw community among whom Curtis made his 1914 film.

Now a book has been published by the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art and the University of Washington Press, Return to the Land of the Headhunters : Edward S. Curtis, the Kwakwaka’wakw, and the Making of Modern Cinema, edited by Brad Evans and Aaron Glass, with a forward by Bill Holm.

Milestone Films will release a restored version of In the Land of the Headhunters in December 2014.

For a review of the book by the Seattle Times, see:


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Dec 312013

Joe Hillaire carving a pole for Kobe, Japan in 1961 Photo: Harvey Davis, Post-Intelligencer Coll., Museum of History and Industry

A new book A Totem Pole History: the Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire, edited by Professor Gregory Fields, has been published by the University of Nebraska Press. The book includes chapters by Felix SolomanBill Holm,  Barbara Brotherton, Skokomish artist and scholar CHiXapkaid Michael Pavel Melonie Ancheta,  and others. In addition to the book, a media companion (a DVD and two audio CDs) titled “Coast Salish Totem Poles” will be available and includes Lummi stories, songs, and an illustrated presentation of Pauline Hillaire interpreting several of her father’s major totem poles.


Dec 312013

Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia

The University of Washington Press has published Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia, edited by Robert T. Boyd, Kenneth M. Ames and Tony A. Johnson.

The Chinookan peoples’ traditional territories on the Lower Columbia River are being reclaimed by this nation. Their role in the early encounters between the native peoples and early European settlers is a fascinating part of late eighteenth and nineteenth-century history. The book is a partnership between scholars and members of the Chinook and related tribes, introducing readers to Chinookan history and culture in rich and sometimes surprising ways.


Oct 092013

Native Art of the Northwest Coast at MOA Bookstore Photo: Ann Cameron

A very special book on northwest coast First Nations art, and certainly the largest ever published, is now available. The book, edited by Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Jennifer Kramer and Ki-ke-in, includes essays from thirty contributors, artists, scholars and curators, from diverse backgrounds. It is 1120 pages, weighs 2.2 kgs. And the hardcover sells for $200. It can claim to provide the widest and deepest look at the field. The publisher states:

This remarkable volume records and scrutinizes definitions of Northwest Coast Native art and its boundaries. A work of critical historiography, it makes accessible for the first time in one place a broad selection of more than 250 years of writing on Northwest Coast “art.” Organized thematically, its excerpted texts are from both published and unpublished sources, some not previously available in English.

In North Vancouver, Pushing Boundaries 2013 opens on October 11, an exhibition highlighting emerging and professional First Nations artists, including Brenda Crabtree, Jaalen and Gwaii Edenshaw, and Rick Harry Xwalacktun.

“The artists have created unique contemporary works that have traditional association or have used traditional mediums that have a contemporary aesthetic. The works include paintings, sculptures, carvings, installations and stop motion animation addressing themes such as nature, community, identity, dual heritage and First Nations Culture.”

On Saturday, October 12, from 1-3 pm, Xwalacktun and his son James Harry will demonstrate carving techniques.

The gallery is at CityScape Community Art Space, 335 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. For more information see


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May 092012
Lyle Wilson, Octopus, 1993  Photo: Jenn Walton

Lyle Wilson, Octopus, 1993 Photo: Jenn Walton

Lyle Wilson is well-known for his art and his collaborative historical research and carving demonstrations at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. A solo show of the work of the Haisla artist, Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson, opens on May 5 and will continue until July 28 2012. Maple Ridge Art Gallery is at 11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge, a short distance east of Vancouver.

A richly illustrated 80-page book accompanies the exhibition. The artist’s comments on the works of art are lucid and informative, and provide unusually good insight into the artist’s development and his Haisla culture. In fact, 800 copies of the catalogue are being distributed in the Kitimat area, so that members of the Haisla nation can enjoy the works, and see how the Haisla language relates to their themes.

May 092012
Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelatse

Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelatse

In 2011, the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia, exhibited the Stone Ancestor T’xwelatse in a collaborative context with information about the Sto:lo people and their land (see The Beat April 2011). Stone T’xwelatse had been repatriated to the Ts’elxwéyeqw (Chilliwack) tribe of the Sto:lo nation in 2006 from the Burke Museum in Seattle.

Now a 70-page, colourfully illustrated book has been published: Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelatse. It includes the story of the Ancestor, maps, stories and photographs of the Sto:lo peoples’ land, and their names for its features.

An essay by Curator Scott Marsden “Experiments in Visual Art, Alternative History, and Community Collaboration” presents some of the cultural issues which arose during the project.

The book is available from the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford.

Dec 072011
Photo: Philip Hersee Photography

Photo: Philip Hersee Photography


A launch of a new book Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art at 639 Hornby in Vancouver on Thursday December 8 2011 at 5 pm. Admission is free.

Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe tells the story of the pivotal role of the
canoe in Northwest Coast art, cultures and communities from pre-contact to present day Tribal Journeys.

Principal author and editor Dr. Martine Reid is Director of Content and Research at the Bill Reid Gallery.

The related exhibition of photography continues at the Bill Reid Gallery until January 8, 2012, and will then tour to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.

For more information see

Nov 222010

Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual, a book that gathers work by dozens of B.C. visual and literary artists, has won the City of Vancouver Book Award. The Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition in 2009-2010 that inspired the book included First Nations artists Bill Reid, Willie Seaweed and Brian Jungen.

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