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Current Exhibitions

AKOS: Corey Bulpitt
June 5 to September 14, 2014

AKOS: Corey Bulpitt
Corey Bulpitt: Eagle Pole, 2013.

AKOS presents the monumental works of spray can art by Haida artist, Corey Bulpitt. This solo exhibition is a remarkable, natural fusion between Hip Hop and Haida cultures.

AKOS is Corey Bulpitt's graffiti tag. Taakeet Gaaya, his Haida name, translates to "Gifted Carver". Both names reveal two art forms that have successfully come together through this exhibition. For over 20 years, Bulpitt has been developing his skills as an artist — beginning as a graffiti artist in the 90's. At the age of 15, he immersed himself in DJing, MCing, breaking and graffiti, key elements of Hip Hop culture. At age 20, he returned to Haida Gwaii for a four-year apprenticeship under Haida master carver Christian White. His mentorship included the study of Haida social structure, clan structure, oral history, 2D art and 3D carving, ancestral music and dance.

Graffiti and Haida formline design share many of the same artistic values; continuous flow that expands and compresses, balance in design, colour, positive and negative; narrative, reflective of society and of social status. Selected works pay homage to the artistic design and skills of Haida ancestors. Others fuse together expressions of Haida and Hip Hop cultures, and reveal a vivid connection to formline and the freedom of graffiti.

In the words of Curator, Kwiaahwah Jones, " An artist requires a special talent to be able to first learn the rules, and then break them in the proper way. AKOS provides a creative meeting point for the past, present and future."

AKOS was made possible by the generous support of: Shop Wrong, HaiCo and East Van Moving.

Ts'msyen Transforming: Morgan Green
April 30 to September 14, 2014

Ts'msyen Transforming: Morgan Green
Morgan Green: Goomsm Xsgyiik (Winter Eagle Necklace), 2011.

Morgan Green introduces breathtaking examples of hollow-form jewelry in her solo exhibition Ts'msyen Transforming. The exhibition reveals sophisticated works of art and personal adornment, in which Green honours the values, classical art and design of the Ts'mysen people, while using classic European gold smithing, bronze casting and fashion design techniques.

Green's work is deeply rooted in her ancestral heritage. She takes her role as a Ts'msyen artist very seriously, and transforms various materials into works of art that respect and communicate family crests and oral histories. She transforms raw materials from nature, ancient metals, precious stones, eagle claws, dentalia, shell buttons and fine fabric into high art that both share historical knowledge, and act as a social indicator of the wearer's status in society.

Works in this exhibition were developed, designed and constructed over several months, and in some cases, years. Green has benefited from formal mentorships with her father, Henry Green, Ts'msyen master carver; Rick Adkins, Haida master engraver; and Gerold Muller, a German goldsmith and principal of Vancouver Metal Arts School.

For her inspiration, Green draws on her experience growing up close to nature, exploring the flora and fauna, and fishing on the Skeena River and ocean. Eagles, ravens, killer whales, and other beings appear in her work.

In the words of Curator, Kwiaahwah Jones, "Ts'msyen Transforming is an important evolutionary step in the development of personal adornment for Northwest Coast Art. Morgan Green has successfully brought together the best of both Indigenous and European cultures to evolve into beautiful contemporary examples of what can happen when ideas and cultural knowledge work together."

By Jerry Grey, Visual Artist
BILL REID: "Mythic Messengers" 1984
Illustration by Jerry Grey

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