Ts̱ēmā Igharas Artist Talk

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are excited to present interdisciplinary artist Tsēmā Igharas!

Please join us at the Aboriginal Gathering Place on
Thursday, September 23 from 11:30-12:30pm.

Tsēmā is an interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tahltan Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork and teachings influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture, and time in the mountains. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCADu showing her thesis work, LAND|MINE that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. Tsēmā has won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; is 1/25 2020 Sobey award winners; has shown and performed in various places in Canada and internationally in Sweden, Mexico, USA and Chile.

Artist Statement

My artistic work grapples with the body, my body as it has witnessed material and metaphysical landscapes changing and continually impacted, shaken and consumed by corporate resource extraction. What is important to me in making and presenting my work is to engage with and critique how the value of land and natural resources are created and assessed through Western measures of wealth (social, economic, environmental, power, ownership) and how these types of evaluations impact cultural lifeways in the Canadian wilderness, which is still considered an untapped frontier for natural resources. My praxis is sparked by strategies of Indigenous resistance to neo-colonization, embodied knowledge and everyday acts of decolonization as ways to understand the imaginary Canadian “true North” and industrial reverberations felt by those who live downstream.




Land-Based Design Course Uses ECU Campus as Test Case in Decolonial Wayfinding Project

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Posted on August 31, 2021

“Land-based” design and teaching emphasize local histories, relationships to place, and Indigenous sovereignty.

A new design course uses the Emily Carr University campus as a case study for lessons on wayfinding design, with an emphasis on Indigenous histories and ways of knowing.

Called ‘Rereading Place,’ the course curriculum was developed and led by LatinX designer and ECU faculty member Pat Vera, with the support of Nuu-chah-nulth, Gitxsan and Kwakwaka’wakw designer, artist and associate director of aboriginal programs Connie Watts, as well as the participation of Indigenous cultural advisors, including Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi Métis (Ojibway-Jewish/Métis) artist and ECU faculty member Mimi Gellman and Squamish artist and educator Splash, also known as Aaron Nelson-Moody.

During Splash’s time with the class, he responded to each student’s question with a story — an Indigenous storytelling approach that Pat says gradually deepened the class’s understanding of land, history and place.

“We started by wanting to know a little bit more about how we relate to this place in British Columbia,” Pat tells me. “But we learned way more about what it means to be human; what it means to be a witness; what it means to be a part of our community. We learned about what a Potlatch is and how we can apply it in order to see things differently.”

Full Article: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/land-based-design-ecu-campus-decolonial-wayfinding

New Access Gallery Show Features Works, Curation by ECU Community Members

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Posted on August 24, 2021 | Updated August 26, 2021, 7:42AM

Titled Conditional Belonging, the exhibition aims to make space for “alternative ways of being, knowing, and making.”

A new exhibition at Access Gallery curated by artist and curator Rebecca Wang (BFA 2021) foregrounds personal and communal narratives around power relations, access, resistance, and healing.

The show, titled Conditional Belonging, features work by local emerging artists Art Action EarwigTaryn Goodwin (4th year BFA), Maria-Margaretta (BFA 2018), Sydney Pickering (BFA 2021), Neena Robertson (BFA 2021), and Tadafumi Tamura each of whom contributes to the show’s enactment of “a temporary belonging for alternative ways of being, knowing, and making,” according to Rebecca’s curatorial statement.

“Beginning with the question, ‘What does it mean to make art with limited access and capacity?’, the making of this exhibition has evolved into an investigation of how multi-faceted limited access and/or capacity could look like for artists in intersectional positions.”

Full Article: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/new-access-gallery-show-features-works-curation-by-ecu-community-members

Contemporary Women Sculptors Front and Centre in New Show Celebrating Charles Marega

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Posted on August 19, 2021

The late Italian artist is best known for his lion sculptures which stand at the foot of the Lions Gate Bridge.

new exhibition brings together sculptures by an intergenerational group of women from the ECU community in celebration of — and in contrast to — a seminal Vancouver artist and historical arts figure, Charles Marega.

Marega, who received classical arts training in Italy before emigrating to Vancouver in 1909, is perhaps best known today for his two lion sculptures, which stand at the south end of the Lions Gate Bridge. Between 1925 and 1939, he also served as the first instructor of sculpture at the Vancouver College of Art, which would later become Emily Carr University.

Currently showing at Vancouver’s Il Centro Italian Cultural Centre, the show, titled Pathways to Modernity, explores Marega’s “legacy and impact on the artistic landscape of Vancouver through a study in contrasts,” according to the exhibition text. Featuring sculptural works by artists Connie Sabo (BFA 2003), Sydney Pickering (BFA 2021), Lyndsay McKay (BFA 2020), and Debbie Tuepah (BFA 2011), the show takes Marega as one point along an evolution of the arts in British Columbia.

Full Article: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/contemporary-women-sculptors-charles-marega

Emily Carr University Appoints Carleen Thomas as Chancellor

Carleen Thomas appointed Chancellor of Emily Carr University

By Emily Carr University

Posted on August 03, 2021 | Updated August 03, 2021, 9:50AM

Carleen Thomas is an educator and former council member for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

Emily Carr University of Art + Design announced today that Carleen Thomas has been named as the university’s next Chancellor. She will be the first Indigenous person to hold this position at ECU.

Ms. Thomas is currently the Special Projects Manager for the Treaty, Lands and Resources department at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Prior to this position, she served eight two-year terms as an elected council member for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, in which she held the Community Development portfolio covering health and education. “We are delighted to welcome Carleen Thomas as our next Chancellor,” said Dr. Gillian Siddall, ECU’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “Carleen has demonstrated extraordinary leadership through her decades of service to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. We’re grateful to have someone with her knowledge and expertise join Emily Carr University, especially as we work to decolonize and Indigenize our campus and meaningfully engage with the host nations on whose land we work and study.”

Full article here: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/carleen-thomas-appointed-chancellor#media-contact

Announcing the 2021 Graduation Award Winners

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Posted on July 07, 2021 | Updated July 15, 2021, 4:43PM

Thirty students received graduation awards in acknowledgement of their exceptional work and accomplishments.

The Class of 2021 had an unprecedented final year, defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. While they were unable to gather in person with their peers, our students continued to develop their creative practices through hybrid and online learning. In addition to a small on-campus exhibition limited to graduating students and their families, their exceptional graduation work can be viewed at The Show 2021, an online interactive platform showcasing their diverse and stunning talents.

Forty-three graduation awards and honourable mentions were bestowed on these students for their remarkable achievements by our esteemed judges. In total, 30 students received awards valued at $26,090 based on their works in the show, their GPAs, or a combination of the two.

Full article here: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/the-show-student-awards-2021

How Designing with More-Than-Humans Fosters Social Change and Environmental Justice

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Posted on July 05, 2021 | Updated July 15, 2021, 4:41PM

Teaching design to help heal a broken relationship between human beings and the rest of the planet.

For much of history, the practice of design has been preoccupied with making lives better for the Western, modern white male, Louise St. Pierre tells me via video call.

Your clothes and shoes, your apartment, your city, your coffee mug, the headphones you plug into your ears, and, of course, the device you’re using to read this now. Someone designed all of it, she says. And for most of the world, those objects and items may have been designed for someone who looks nothing like them. This holds no less true for the non-human world.

Given the overwhelming influence design has on the world and our experience of it, what if changing how designers think is one of the keys to healing a broken relationship between human beings and the rest of the planet?

Sound grandiose? Maybe. But as Louise and Zach Camozzi, a Health Design Lab and DESIS Lab researcher, fellow designer and ECU faculty member, explain, this work of changing design occurs in exceedingly subtle ways.

In fact, as students learn in Louise’s third-year ‘Design with More Than Humans’ courseand Zach’s second-year ‘INDD Core Studio-Design for Biodiversity’ course, it starts by attempting to look at the world through the eyes of another being.

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From Stuff to Sustainability

“If designers start to design for nature, with nature in mind as a priority emphasis, then automatically, without even really knowing it or seeing it, we’re disconnecting from the priorities of modernity and industry,” Louise says.

Full article by Perrin Grauer: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/designing-with-more-than-humans-fosters-social-change-environmental-justice

Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

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Posted on June 21, 2021 | Updated June 21, 2021, 11:57AM

A day to recognize and honour the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Since 1996, it has been an annual occasion for celebration and community gathering for Indigenous people across the country.

The past few weeks have been exceptionally difficult for the Indigenous community, as we mourn the children found at former residential schools in Kamloops, BC and Brandon, Manitoba. But as Billy-Ray Belcourt writes, “Joy is art is an ethics of resistance.” Standing with the Indigenous community in grief is important, but so too is celebrating their resilience and delight.

To that end, here are a few ways to mark this occasion:

  • Register for the Indigenous History Forum: Truth-Telling at the Museum of Vancouver, a free two-day event hosted by the Pacific Association of First Nations Women. The forum is open to the public and features the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, as well as presentations from the Haida, Algonquin, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and Inuit people. A wonderful opportunity to learn more about Indigenous history.
  • Learn more about whose territory you are on, and what language is spoken by that Nation. The First Peoples’ Cultural Council has created an interactive map to help you learn more about the 204 First Nations in BC, which has the most linguistic diversity of any region in Canada.

Full article by Perrin Grauer: https://www.ecuad.ca/news/2021/celebrate-national-indigenous-peoples-day

kiskistotawâtânik aniki kîkâ kâkî-pîkîwîcik | Let us remember those that did not come home

by Caleb Ellison-Dysart



This piece is dedicated to all of the Indigenous children & youth who have been impacted by the residential & day school system, and all of the other systemic injustices that settler-colonial states design, enact and perpetuate.

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Let Us Rem

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Caleb Ellison-Dysart is a Nîhithaw multidisciplinary artist specializing in 3D Animation & Modelling. He creates an aesthetic that is raw and authentic, celebrating his Nîhithaw culture and an innate, ancestral connection to the land.