K’uuts’iixuu T’aaxwii

PHOTOS: Fort Langley exhibit goes beyond stereotypes of First Nations art

An exhibit aims to expand expectations.

Many First Nations artists active in British Columbia today find their inspiration in the narratives of the past while commenting on the reality of the social, political, and environmental issues present in the world around them.

This month, Langley Centennial Museum has launched an exhibit that explores the traditions and innovations of the Coast Salish and Northwest Coast Salish First Nations.

Audiences will have the opportunity to learn about First Nations cultures in B.C. and the history of collecting First Nations artwork, while viewing the artists’ works and discovering the design principles and personal inspiration behind them, said museum curator Jasmine Moore.

Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art, an exhibition of historic and contemporary works from First Nations artists, opened May 9, and remains until July 17.

“While some art pieces can be evaluated on their aesthetic qualities, it is also important to discover the personal meaning and cultural value behind the works,” Moore said.

“This exhibit will expand expectations of ‘authentic’ First Nations artwork. Today’s artists challenge perceptions of how aboriginal art should appear, complicating and expanding the public’s frame of reference for what is considered authentic or traditional.”

The exhibit features contemporary works by Kwantlen First Nations artists Brandon Gabriel and Phyllis and Drew Atkins, Haida artist Corey Bulpitt, Talhtan/Tlingit artist Una Ann Moyer, and Squamish artists Aaron Nelson Moody and Xwalackatun.

The display is on exhibit at the museum, 9135 King St. in Fort Langley. Learn more at museum.tol.ca or 604-532-3536.

CAPTION: Corey Bulpitt, a contemporary Haida carver and graffiti artist, is featured in the Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art exhibition at the museum.


CAPTION: Artist Xwalacktun and his son Stanley were on hand for the opening of the Langley Centennial Museum’s exhibit Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art on May 14.

CAPTION: Kwantlen First Nations members Phyllis and Drew Atkins are among the artists showing their works in the Langley Centennial Museum’s exhibit Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art on display until July 17.

CAPTION: Kwantlen First Nations artist Drew Atkins carves one of his pieces. His work, and that of other First Nations people, are on display at the Langley Centennial Museum in the Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art exhibit until July 17.

CAPTION: Kwantlen First Nations artist Phyllis Atkins works in her studio. Her work, and that of other First Nations people, are on display at the Langley Centennial Museum in the Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art exhibit until July 17.

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