The aim of this paper is to describe the development and methods of a gallery that exhibits and markets artwork created exclusively by contemporary indigenous artists from the Pacific Rim. The art we are privileged to display ranges from wood and metal sculpture through a wide array of graphic work on paper and canvas. Here, I will discuss the various avenues we have explored to showcase the work, educate the public about it, promote it in the fine art market, and ensure that art-making is an attractive and sustainable livelihood.
The gallery’s geographical position on Vancouver Island, home to the great artistic traditions of the Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, and Nuu-chah-nulth nations, has made it possible to create a gallery that works solely with aboriginal cultures. Our efforts are focused on the Pacific and the Pacific Rim, and are aimed at representing these artists by showing their work with dignity, respect, and attention to cultural protocol. The vibrant cultural and artistic revival that has happened along the Northwest Coast (NWC) of Canada during the past thirty years has demonstrated that traditional arts can be given a contemporary face. During this time, Canadian First Nations artists have experienced a revival of ceremonial life, which in turn has necessitated creation of finely made sculpture and regalia. The corresponding demand for individual artistic excellence has made it increasingly inappropriate for outsiders to view their creations as artifacts rather than art. There has developed an established audience in Europe and North America who appreciates and collects these works.
Over a similar time frame, the gallery has worked to alter the common perception that contemporary arts from tribal societies are remnants of the past rather than dynamic creations from living and vibrant cultures.
665 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1G6
Monday - Saturday: 9:30 - 5:30 pm
Sunday: 12 - 5 pm
Extended Summer hours.
VISIT THE GALLERY
We are located on Fort Street and Broad, across from the Downtown Bay Centre Mall.
A short walk from the inner harbour.