Edgar Heap of Birds

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series

We are very pleased to present artist Edgar Heap of Birds!
Join us at the AGP on September 23, 4-6pm.

His artworks include multi-disciplinary forms of public art messages, large scale drawings, Neuf Series acrylic paintings, prints and monumental porcelain enamel on steel outdoor sculpture.

Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979), his Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (1976) and has undertaken graduate studies at The Royal College of Art, London, England.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and he has served as a visiting lecturer and professor at several institutions. He currently teaches Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma where he has been since 1988.

His artistic creations and efforts as an advocate for indigenous communities worldwide are focused first upon social justice and then the personal freedom to live within the tribal circle as an expressive individual.


IMG 6802 (retouched)


Lisa Jackson

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series

We are very pleased to present filmmaker Lisa Jackson!
Join us at the AGP on September 22, 2-4pm.

With a background in documentary, including acclaimed short SUCKERFISH and the CTV “W5 Presents” 1-hour RESERVATION SOLDIERS, award-winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson expanded into fiction with SAVAGE, which won a 2010 Genie award for Best Short Film. Playback Magazine named her one of 10 to Watch in 2012 and her work has played at festivals internationally, broadcast on CBC, CTV, Bravo!, Knowledge, SCN, and APTN, and is used extensively in educational and community settings. In 2011, she made the 35mm fiction short PARKDALE, as part of the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab, and Pow.Wow.Wow, a steampunk outerspace fancy dance music video for Cree cellist Cris Derksen.

In 2013 Lisa completed four films, including HOW A PEOPLE LIVE, a 1-hour documentary on the 1964 forced relocation of BC’s Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people and a short performance-based film SNARE, the short(er) version of which premiered at imagineNATIVE in 2012. Current projects span documentary and fiction, and include her first feature script MUSH HOLE.

Lisa’s films have garnered numerous awards and in 2004, she won the inaugural imagineNATIVE Alliance-Atlantis Mentorship Award, in 2005 the Vancouver Arts Award for Emerging Media Artist, and in 2012 the ReelWorld Festival named her a Trailblazer. She is Anishinaabe, has a BFA in Film Production from Simon Fraser University, and is a popular speaker and workshop leader.




9 Group Exhibitions That Defined Contemporary Indigenous Art

Please check out the latest article published in Canadian Art by Richard William Hill, Emily Carr’s Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies.




Arranging catalogues of major Indigenous-art group exhibitions of the 1980s and early 1990s indicates some gaps, as well as surges, in activity. Photo: Richard Hill.



Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceded Territories

Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, is showcased in this provocative exhibition of works that confront the colonialist suppression of First Nations peoples and the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights to lands, resources, and sovereignty.

Twenty years since his last major Canadian solo show, Unceded Territories will demonstrate the progression of Yuxweluptun’s artistry and ideas through hard-hitting, polemical, but also playful artworks that span his remarkable 30- year career, featuring a selection of brand-new works exhibited publicly for the first time.

Co-curated by Karen Duffek (MOA Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest) and Tania Willard (artist and independent curator, Secwepemc Nation), Unceded Territories promises colour and controversy through this display of over 60 of Yuxweluptun’s most significant paintings, drawings, and works in other media – a critical and impassioned melding of modernism, history, and Indigenous perspectives that records what the artist feels are the major issues facing Indigenous people today.

This exhibition will undoubtedly fuel dialogue, indignation, and even spiritual awareness as it tackles land rights, environmental destruction, and changing ideas about what we can expect of Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast. The issues Yuxweluptun addresses are impossible to ignore.

Yuxweluptun, an artist of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, graduated from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in BC. Influential as both artist and activist, Yuxweluptun merges traditional iconography with representations of the environment and the history of colonization, resulting in his powerful, contemporary imagery; his work is replete with masked fish farmers, super-predator oil barons, abstracted ovoids, and unforgettable depictions of a spirit-filled, but now toxic, natural world.

Highly respected locally, Yuxweluptun’s work has also been displayed in numerous international group and solo exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Canada’s special exhibition, Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art. In 1998, Yuxweluptun was the recipient of the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts (VIVA) Award. He was also honoured in 2013 with a prestigious Fellowship at the Eitelijorg Musem of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, where his art was featured in an exhibition and book, and was acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.




Richard William Hill in Canadian Art

Emily Carr University’s newest Canada Research Chair, Richard Hill has two new articles featured in Canadian Art.

Hill’s  primary project  is to research and produce a narrative on the history of contemporary Indigenous Art in the 1980s and 1990s, a period roughly coinciding with the emergence of art-school trained Indigenous artists.

His research will focus on the efforts of these Indigenous artists to create space for their own discourse and to access institutions of the art world that had previously excluded them.






Urban Access discontinued

Unfortunately we will not be accepting applications to our Urban Access to Aboriginal Art Program as it will not be running this year.  We will be busy preparing for the move to the new Emily Carr University campus in 2017. Thanks for your continued interest! We hope to run it again in the future.


FNA Aboriginal Student Exhibition

Annual Aboriginal Student Exhibition
April 4-11, 2016
Concourse Gallery
Emily Carr University Art+Design

Opening Reception
Monday, April 4, 2016

FNA an acronym for First Nations Art is a title that brings forward a certain slang statement saying F’n eh; First Nations Art is still here. Through centuries of turmoil from foreign dictatorships amidst what is now called the Americas, First Nations Art has survived, it is still here, we are still here, practicing our cultural heritages. With technological advancements and new and old practices of art combined, First Nations Art can be constructed to satisfy the needs of the artist’s vision for completion in whatever medium they so choose. Adaptation has happened and the spirit of First Nations Art and it’s practitioners are regenerated to fulfill the symbolic entities of their people’s creative rights. So to that we say FNA.

This year’s curatorial team:
Derian Blake(Gwichin) William Callaghan(Tlingit) Chloe Mustooch(Nakoda Sioux & Cree) Edwin Neel(Ahoushat & Kwagul)

Poster design: Chloe Mustooch


The Margin is the Centre

Date: March 10, 2016

Time: 5:00 PM

Location: Audain Art Centre, 6398 University Boulevard, UBC

Symposium runs March 10 – 11 and Exhibition runs March 10 – April 2

The 39th Annual University of British Columbia Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory Graduate Symposium is pleased to announce that this year’s event, The Margin is the Centre, will take place from March 10 – 11, 2016. The concurrent exhibition, curated by the Graduate Symposium Committee, will open from 5 – 7pm on March 10, at the AHVA Gallery in the Audain Art Centre.
The Margin is the Centre will engage with and bridge materialist, cultural, geopolitical, and medium-oriented discourses on marginality within art and art history at a moment when the stability of the centre-margin binary is rapidly deteriorating. The political and cultural potential of marginality, as well as the persistent actions of the former centre, saturates contemporary discourse and reflects the historical progression of global de-colonial efforts, globalization, and the acceleration of late capital. Artistic-activist interventions, new approaches within marginalized discourses in art history, and subalternized artistic practices and objects ask us to re-evaluate the dynamic process of constitution and identification at play in the centre-margin binary. Perhaps the decentering work required by these practices can encourage us to see each margin as a centre of its own. The AHVA Graduate Symposium proposes a self-reflexive examination of this shifting dichotomy within art and art history, as well as the social sciences and humanities at large.
The keynote speaker will be Byron Hamann, from the Department of History of Art at Ohio State University.
10am–1pm: Seminar with Byron Hamann: “Marginality and (Imagined) Exhibitions”
Seating is limited. To attend, RSVP to grad.symposium@ubc.ca
5pm–7pm: Exhibition opening (AHVA Gallery in the Audain Art Centre)
Featuring artists:
Mallory Amirault (Emily Carr University of Art and Design)
Shannon Deer (University of British Columbia)
Yoriko Gillard (University of British Columbia/Douglas College)
Scott Mallory (Emily Carr University of Art and Design)
Alice Olsen Williams, Anishinaabe-Kwe and Joanne Ursino (University of British Columbia)
Setareh Yasan (University of British Columbia)



Governor General Visit

Visit to Opening Doors Exhibition

As part of their official visit to Vancouver Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston Governor attended the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Emily Carr University of Art + Design to view Opening Doors, a carving project that celebrates the story-telling traditions of B.C.’s aboriginal artists, on March 3.

“Sharon and I are looking forward to seeing the great work being done in Vancouver with regards to Aboriginal art and youth programs, in the high-tech sector and by community foundations,” said the Governor General in a press statement.

Their Excellencies visited Opening Doors, an Aboriginal door carving exhibition that showcases an innovative use of technology to support Aboriginal artists. They meet with the young Aboriginal artists who have successfully completed the four-week intensive door carving program.

The Opening Doors project is a unique educational carving project that embraces the culture and storytelling nature of British Colombia coastal Aboriginal art and, at the same time, explores new technology and promotes Aboriginal communities and their unique artistic talents.

The project was led at Emily Carr University by Brenda Crabtree, Director of the Aboriginal Gathering Place, who collaborated with three other partners including the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, UBC’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing and FP Innovations.

Read the Globe and Mail article.

Read the BC Business article.

Read the UBC article.


William Callaghan


William Callaghan expresses his interest in Tlingit style Northwest Coast art. Throughout his career as an artist William has been a part of carving projects consisting of masks (big and small), panels, Totem poles of various sizes, and an ocean going dugout canoe. He has worked within group projects as a student of the Northern Cultural Expressions Society Carving Program – formerly known as the Sundog Carving Program. As a student in the carving program William learned things from every teacher he had, which is included in his current art . William has taught carving to students in the Yukon with Elementary and Secondary Schools. Form-line designing, whether 3D or 2D, in various media William says he will be a part of Tlingit formline design and sculpture until his hands and eyes won’t let him anymore.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC is the art school William decided to expand his artistic abilities within. “I felt it was time for me to try other art mediums so I can include what I’ve learned into future projects. I want to add my little touch to the art world in more categories than one: Emily Carr is a school that has a lot to offer for this goal.” While attending ECUAD William has examined the different approaches to art the school has to offer; from design, drawing, sculpture, silkscreening, ceramics, but his main studio focus for the remainder of time at ECU towards his BFA will be painting.


Emily Carr University of Art + Design