ONE DAY ONLY! 10AM–10PM
Opening Reception: March 5, 2019, 7PM
Over the past two years, grunt gallery has been at work on the project Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore focused on her remarkable performance career. This legacy project begins with an all-day screening of, March 5, 1819, and the launch of her new website, rebeccabelmore.com
In 2008 Rebecca Belmore produced the video installation March 5, 1819 recreating the abduction of the Beothuk woman Demasaduit and the murder of her husband Nonosabasut by colonialist settlers in Newfoundland. This video installation is not a historical reenactment, rather the actors are in modern dress and Belmore questions what has changed over the past 200 years. March 5, 1819, was commissioned by The Rooms in St John’s and has also been exhibited in Ottawa and Toronto. Set at Red Indian Lake in central Newfoundland March 5, 1819 was filmed in Vancouver at Mount Seymour.
March 5, 2019, marks the 200th anniversary of these events. It was announced earlier this year that their skulls will be returned to the Canadian Museum of History from the University of Scotland. As we grapple with reconciliation it is fitting to remember the history that brought us to this place.
grunt will celebrate the re-launch rebeccabelmore.com, a website documenting Rebecca Belmore’s career over the past 32 years. The new site features content that spans Belmore’s career in all media, taking the user deep into the heart of her practice.
From July 2 – August 3, 2019, grunt gallery will also present a photographic exhibition of five new performance photographs, and a book launch of Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore, in collaboration with the Audain Art Museum and Information Office.
Funded through a New Chapter grant, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Audain Art Museum, this project celebrates the important career of one of Canada’s most iconic artists.
Wordless – The Performance Art of Rebecca Belmore is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.
Free and open to the public, Spark Artist Talks are casual lunch-hour conversations, presentations, and talks on the third Thursday of each month from 12:15-1pm. Spark features emerging Indigenous artists with diverse art practices ranging from carving to spoken-word, and from photography to ceramics. Though Spark Talks were long held at the Native Education College, due to the COVID-19 pandemic they will be hosted online until further notice.
Did you miss or want to revisit a Spark Talk? Click here for some recordings of past Spark Talks!
Past Spark Talks:
Spark Artist Talk feat. Emily Critch
Thursday, March 17th 2022, 12:15-1pm
Online via Zoom
Emily Critch is a Mi’kmaw and settler artist, curator, and writer from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk Territory (Bay of Islands, NL). She received her BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland (2018). She has had solo exhibitions of her work at the Tina Dolter Gallery (Corner Brook, NL), Eastern Edge (St. John’s, NL), St. Michaels Printshop (St. John’s, NL), and Galerie Sans Nom (Moncton, NB). Her work has been included in several group exhibitions at the Grenfell Art Gallery (Corner Brook, NL), The Rooms (St. John’s, NL), and Hafnarborg (Hafnarfjörður, Iceland). Her art practice has been supported by ArtsNL, and has been the recipient of several awards including the Ellen Rusted Award for Print Media, the 2020 VANL Cox & Palmer Pivotal Point Grant, longlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award, and the 2020-2021 Don Wright Scholarship at St. Michael’s Printshop. Her work has been featured in publications such as Riddle Fence, Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Visual Arts News. She is currently based in St. John’s, NL, working remotely as the Program Coordinator with the Indigenous Curatorial Collective / Collectif des commissaires autochtones, and the 2021-23 Adjunct Curator with the Owen’s Art Gallery.
Spark Artist Talk feat. Keysha Rivera
Thursday, February 17th 2022, 12:15-1pm
Online via Zoom
Keysha Rivera is an emerging artist of Taino Indigenous ancestry, living and working on Chitimacha, Houma, and Choctaw territory also known as New Orleans. Keysha uses different modes of textile making to reflect on Puerto Rican identity, migration, colonialism, and Puerto Rican futurism. Rivera is building anticolonial narratives by using crafts such as sewing to stitch together intergenerational experiences that act as a form of resistance to U.S. occupation in Puerto Rico.
Spark Artist Talk feat. Bridget Goerge (Nimkiinagwaagankwe)
Thursday, January 27th 2022, 12:15-1pm
Online via Zoom
Bridget George (Nimkiinagwaagankwe) is an Anishinaabe illustrator, children’s book author and graphic designer from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. They are the author of the children’s book It’s a Mitig!, a dual-language book written to support families like theirs that are working to reclaim the Anishinaabeg language with their children. They recently were presented with the Periodical Marketers of Canada’s Indigenous Literature Award for It’s a Mitig!.
@decolonizespringfield is a multi-nation collective of Indigenous women and two spirits from Turtle Island united by their passion for The Simpsons and memes that speak to their experiences.
Spark Artist Talk feat. Manuel Axel Strain
Thursday, October 21st 2021, 12:15-1pm
Online via Zoom
Manuel Axel Strain is a non-binary 2-Spirit artist with xʷməθkʷəyəm (Musqueam)/Simpcw/Syilx ancestry, based in the sacred homelands and waters of their Katzie and Kwantlen relatives. Although they attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design they prioritize Indigenous epistemologies through the embodied knowledge of their mother, father, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents and ancestors. Creating artwork in collaboration with and reference to their relatives, their shared experiences become a source of agency that resonates through their work with performance, land, painting, sculpture, photography, video, sound and installation. Their artworks often envelop subjects in relation with ancestral and community ties, Indigeneity, labour, resource extraction, gender, Indigenous medicine and life forces. Strain uses their art practice to confront and undermine the imposed realities of colonialism. Proposing a new space beyond its oppressive systems of power. They have contributed work to Capture Photography Festival through Richmond Art Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, and more distant places across Turtle Island.
Spark Artist Talk feat. Paige Pettibon Thursday, May 20th, 2021, 12:15-1:00pm Online via Zoom
Paige Pettibon (Black, Salish, White) is a Tacoma, Washington-based multidisciplinary artist. Her studio practice is to represent her diverse culture and to amplify the voices of people in her community.
Growing up, Pettibon’s parents fostered her exposure to art with support and encouragement. She attributes her success as an emerging artist to her community and family. Before COVID, she dedicated her time to mentoring youth and families, and sharing her knowledge. Now, she tries to help at home by creating content and Zoom presentations for her community.
Currently, Pettibon is working on showing at the National Museum of the Native American for an online exhibit that showcases Afro-Indigenous artists across America. She has multiple collaborative projects that will be public in the coming months.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Paul Gonzales Thursday, April 15th, 2021, 12:15-1:00pm Online via Zoom
Paulo Gonzales is a California desert born, Seattle-based photographer with a BFA in Photography from Seattle University. He has exhibited at Vachon Gallery, Photographic Center Northwest, and has had work presented in the Short Run Comix and Arts Festival. Much of Paulo’s work is in zines and self published books. His work explores his Mexican heritage, housing/structure, and memory. *he/him⠀
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Ocean Hyland / shḵwen̓/ ts;simtelot Thursday, March 18th, 2021, 12:15-1:00pm Online via Zoom
As an indigenous artist, I continuously strive to deepen my understanding of my art practices and what that means to my culture and community. I paint, draw, carve/engrave, and weave. I also study the Squamish language and ethnobotany.
I love working for my community and I enjoy collaborating with artists who are committed to enriching the communities they live in. I love creating art that feeds off of reciprocal relationships. I am constantly learning how to navigate what it means to be an indigenous artist upholding the values of my community as well as the values held in creating art in the contemporary world. I will continue to strive to carry these tools and knowledge the best I can to share as those before me always have.” *she/her⠀
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Ovila Mailhot Thursday, October 22nd, 2020, 12:15-1:00pm Online via Zoom
Ovila is a Coast Salish artist originally from Seabird Island, BC. Carrying roots from Nlaka’pamux & Stó:lō Nation, his work utilizes elements of Salish art that have been passed down through generations. Believing that carrying on the tradition of this work is necessary for his culture and for healing, Ovila adds to a cultural continuum working primarily in graphic design. *he/him ⠀
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Roxanne Charles Thursday, February 20th, 2020, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Roxanne Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation is a cultural historian employing means of visual representation, oral history, and ceremony. Methods which have been utilized by Semiahma People for thousands of years. Roxanne holds two undergraduate degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and has recently completed her Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University. Roxanne’s work directly responds to a troubling colonial present and documents a variety of issues that reflect her life experience such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, food security, resource extraction, trauma, and various forms of systemic violence.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Tawahum Thursday, January 30th, 2020, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Łutselk’e Dene, Plains Cree, Two-Spirit, Nonbinary poet, Tawahum Bige resides on unceded Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish territory. Published in Red Rising, Prairie Fire, EVENT, and Poetry is Dead Magazines, Tawahum’s poetry makes vulnerable the process of growing, resisting and being a hopeless sadboy on occupied Turtle Island. They’ve performed on stages including Talking Stick Festival, Verses Festival of Spoken Word, and have completed the first ever Indigenous Spoken Word residency at the Banff Centre in 2018, with their BA in Creative Writing. They invite you to join them on this journey that is both emotionally personal and deeply political.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Kelsey Sparrow Thursday, November 21st, 2019, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Kelsey Sparrow is a multidisciplinary artist – Musqueam on her Father’s side of the family and White Fish River on her Mother’s. A graduate from Langara with a Diploma in Fine Arts and currently a student at ECUAD, she is working across disciplines with a focus on ceramics. Land/territory, family history, and the positionality of Indigenous identity in pop culture and academia are themes that emerge in her work. Most recently she was featured in the exhibits ‘indigenous artists only’ at Crescent Beach Pop-up Gallery and ‘Staring in Coast Salish’ at Arbutus Gallery. *she/her pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk feat. Jordana Luggi Thursday, October 17th, 2019, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Jordana Luggi is a Dakelh & Wet’suwet’en photographer from the Stellat’en First Nation in BC’s northern interior. She graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA in Photography in 2014 and currently works as the Education Curator at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. While her earlier works utilized traditional materials in conjunction with contemporary methods of image-making, her practice now explores techniques in traditional photographic portraiture with a focus on Indigenous subjects and stories.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 26 feat. Atheana Picha Thursday, September 19, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
From her experiences growing up and learning about her culture, Atheana Picha works within the tradition of Coast Salish art to depict the natural environment using vivid colour palettes and gracefully balanced design elements.
Picha is a Coast Salish multimedia artist from the Kwantlen First Nation currently working with ceramics, carving, and painting. A two-time recipient of the YVR Art Foundation Emerging Artist Scholarship, she will be returning to Langara College in the fall to continue learning how to carve from Squamish artist Aaron Nelson-Moody, and to further her experience in printmaking processes. As the youngest artist to participate in the Vancouver Mural Festival in 2018, Picha continues to work in public and community art. She/her pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 25 feat. Kali Spitzer Thursday, April 18, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Image: INDIGENOUS MOTHERHOOD (Erena and Padi), 2018
Kali Spitzer is Kaska Dena from Daylu (Lower Post, British Columbia) on her father’s side and Jewish from Transylvania, Romania on her mother’s side. She is from the Yukon and grew up on the West Coast of British Columbia in Canada on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She is a trans disciplinary artist who mainly works with film — 35mm, 120 and wet plate collodion process using an 8×10 camera. Her work includes portraits, figure studies, and photographs of her people, ceremonies, and culture. Her work has been exhibited and recognized internationally. Spitzer recently received a Reveal Indigenous Art Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation and was featured in the National Geographic and Photo Life in 2018. *She/her pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 24 feat. Alanna Edwards Thursday, Mar 21, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Alanna Edwards is a multi-disciplinary artist of Mi’gmaq and settler descent whose work,
through the use of humour, explores themes of belonging, authenticity, and the
everyday. Interested in more than just making “funny native art” Alanna interrogates
what makes us laugh, why, and how humour is used as a strategy for resistance. Working
also with video, she explores familial relationships and the myths and stories we pass
down through generations. She has a BA in Political Science and Gender, Sexuality,
and Women’s Studies from SFU, a diploma in Fine Arts from Langara College, and is
currently finishing her BFA at Kwantlen University. *She/her pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 23 feat. Anne & Jeane Riley Thursday, Feb 21, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Jeane and Anne Riley are Dene/Cree twins and will be presenting their talk, Radical Softening: the practice of art and social work, speaking about their individual and collective practice(s) since graduating from the Native Education College where they both received a certificate in the Family and Community Counseling Program. The title of their talk is inspired by their most recent adventure together as participants in the Dene Nahjo Moose Hide Tanning Art residency this past September at the Banff Centre. As Dene twins they will share how the residency has impacted their ongoing practices in art, social work, and twindian dreams and conversations.
Anne Riley is an Indigiqueer multidisciplinary artist living as an uninvited Slavey Dene/Cree/German guest from Fort Nelson First Nation on the unceceded Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlí̓lwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations. Her work explores different ways of being and becoming, touch, and Indigeneity. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 and in 2016 she graduated from the Native Education College with a Certificate in Family and Community Counselling. She has exhibited both in the United States and Canada. Currently, she is working on a public art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver with her collaborator T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss. Wyss and Riley’s project- A Constellation of Remediation consists of Indigenous Remediation Gardens planted throughout the city decolonizing and healing the dirt back to soil. *she/her pronouns
Jeane Riley is from Fort Nelson First Nation and is of Dene/Cree/German ancestry. She currently works and lives as an uninvited guest on the unceded, traditional and ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlí̓lwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations. Jeane attended the Native Education College and received a certificate in the Family and Community Counselling Program in 2013. Jeane then went on to complete her Masters in Social Work at The University of British Columbia and currently works at BC Women’s Hospital as a social worker. Jeane also works as a community based researcher and is currently working on a project regarding the child welfare system. *she/her pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 22 feat. Krystle Coughlin Thursday, Jan 17th, 12:15-1:00pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
I am a Selkirk First Nation visual artist residing in New Westminster, BC. I hold a B.F.A in Visual Art (2015); and a B.A. in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice from UBC (2013). I am currently an M.F.A. candidate at Simon Fraser University’s school of contemporary arts. My artistic practice blends different materials, methodologies, and symbols to create conceptual works. I am influenced by Indigenous feminism, post-structuralism, anti-colonialism, and activism. My work often addresses contemporary issues faced by urban Indigenous identity politics and personal experiences. I seek to challenge misconceptions of Indigeneity and Feminisms through visual mediums. My work employs Northwest First Nations design elements and practices with unconventional art materials. This year I was a finalist for both the RBC painting competition and the Philip Lind Prize for contemporary photography.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 21 feat. Chandra Melting Tallow Thursday, November 15, 2018 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Chandra Melting Tallow is an interdisciplinary artist, film-maker, and musician of mixed ancestry from the Siksika Nation. In 2017 they produced a short film, composed a live soundtrack and an accompanying performance for Unsettling Colonial Gender Boundaries as part of Queer Arts Fest entitled, Rapture of Roses. They have directed, edited and filmed a number of music videos and experimental films including co-editing Coney Island Baby, a short film collaboration with Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Jeneen Frei Njootli and Tania Willard in addition to composing the soundtrack. Common themes throughout their practice involve confronting ghosts of intergenerational trauma and their relationship to the body and utilizing humour to subvert oppressive structures of power and surrealism. *They/Them pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 20 feat. Vi Levitt Thursday, October 18, 2018, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
As a composer and producer Vi defines themselves as a ‘mixed race bastard musician in the intersections of tradition and contemporary’. As a burgeoning musician based out of Vancouver, their music features influences from the UK underground scene, their Jewish and Metis heritage, Classical Western and South Asian music, and a variety of artists around the globe. Having worked with Goth DJs, Folk singers and Jazz artists alike, Vi’s work focuses on creating a sound that merges the sounds that define their life and the futures they wish to live to see. As a relative newcomer to the Vancouver music scene, Vi has throughout their career been: a singer-songwriter, a choral composer, a classical musician, a member of the ‘New Wave of Indigenous Electronica’ and things in between. Rhyme and song, Vi’s work has been published in Matrix Magazine, and recently they took part in the New Constellations Digital Mentorship program. *They/them pronouns
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 19 feat. Whess Harman Thursday, April 19, 2018, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Whess Harman was born in Prince Rupert, BC and is from the Carrier Witat, Lake Babine Nation. Harman predominantly works in print, illustration, beading, and text. They completed their BFA at Emily Carr University in 2014 and received the Early Career Development grant from the BC Arts Council in 2016. Their work has been shown in recent group exhibitions such as the Language as Puncture show at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, ON and the Pushing Boundaries show at the Cityscape Community Artspace in North Vancouver, BC. *they/them/their pronouns.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 18 feat. Levi Nelson Thursday, March 15, 2018, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Levi Nelson is from the Lil’wat Nation located in Mount Currie, British Columbia. He is currently in his third year at Emily Carr University of Art + Design majoring in visual arts, with a focus on painting. Levi favours the medium of oil paint and has most recently taken an interest in print making, via silkscreen and lithography. His work can be described as contemporary First Nations art; fusing traditional North West Coast shape and form-line with conventional colours and composition. This past year Levi has exhibited his work in the Emily Carr University annual Aboriginal Art Exhibition, the Museum of Anthropology, the Talking Stick Festival and in the Pushing Boundaries show at North Vancouver City Art Scape.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 17 feat. Raven John Thursday, February 15, 2018, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Raven John (Exwetlaq) is a First Nations, feminist, and queer artist from the Coast Salish and Stó:lō Nation in the Lower Mainland. Her work encompasses both her past and identity in many ways through mere existence, defiance, and the examination of colonialist, patriarchal and classist systems of value in art. She does this by activating space through sculpture, installation, and surreality. John is a recent graduate from both the Native Education College (Northwest Jewelry Arts Program) and Emily Carr University of Art and Design (BFA in Visual Arts and Social Practice And Community Engagement).
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 16 feat. Lacie Burning Thursday, January 18, 2018, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Lacie Burning is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Onondaga (patrilineally) artist and curator raised on Six Nations of the Grand River located in Southern Ontario. They work in photography, video, installation, and sculpture and are currently in their third year of studies in the Visual Fine Arts program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Having come from a culturally and politically grounded upbringing, their work focuses on politics of Indigeneity and identity from a Haudenosaunee perspective.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 15 feat. Madelaine McCallum Thursday, November 16, 2017, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Madelaine McCallum graces the stage with her gentle yet powerful presence and takes her audience through an extraordinary journey of transformation and healing. Through dance and the spiritual teachings of her father, Madelaine has found a powerful way to share her culture. Her life story is all about discovering “the Fire Within.” When she left her home community her goal was to break the unhealthy cycles of addiction. Her story of survival leaves no one indifferent. She tells the story of how it took many years to break the cycle of violence and broken relationships to emerge changed, reborn, and aptly named Strong Earth Women.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 13 feat. Cole Pauls Thursday, September 21, 2017 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Cole Pauls is a Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University. Residing in Vancouver, Pauls focuses on his two comic series, the first being Pizza Punks: a self contained comic strip about punks eating pizza, the other is called Dakwäkãda Warriors, which is about two Southern Tutchone Earth Protectors saving the earth from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches using language revitalization.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 12 feat. Anchi Lin Thursday, April 20, 2017 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Anchi Lin is an artist of Taiwanese Atayal heritage who lives and works in Vancouver. Her work negotiates and interfaces with concepts such as language, identity, gender and cultural norms. Her heritage has served as a catalyst for her exploration of these concepts. Lin received a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts. She was the recipient of the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery Emerging Artist Award and the Bob Rennie Undergraduate Award in Visual Art. She has exhibited at several galleries in both Vancouver, and Taipei.
Image: Anchi Lin, Tattoo on Faces, video performance (still), 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 11 feat. Sarah Shamash Thursday, March 16, 2017 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Sarah Shamash is a Vancouver based media artist and PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary studies program at UBC. Influenced by cinema, her experimental projects typically explore identities and geographies as personal, political, feminine and dynamic, while critiquing and subverting fixed, colonial and hegemonic demarcations of the body, territory, and space. She is currently teaching a film studies course she designed on Latin American cinema at UBC and programming films for the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Her work as an artist, researcher, educator, and programmer can be understood as interconnected and whole; they all revolve around a passion for cinema.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 10 feat. Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Thursday, February 16, 2017, 12:15 – 1:00 pm Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a filmmaker, writer, and actor. She is Blackfoot from the Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve) as well as Sámi from northern Norway and resides on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Tsleil-Waututh, and Skwxwú7mesh peoples. She is a recipient of the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award and a Kodak Image Award for her work as an emerging filmmaker. Her short documentary, Bihttoš, was included in the TIFF Top Ten Canadian Shorts, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and a Leo Award for Best Short Documentary. She is an alumni of the Berlinale Talent Lab and the Hot Docs Accelerator Lab.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 9 feat. Dusty Hagerüd Thursday, January 26, 2017 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Dusty Hagerüd has been obsessed with animated objects, moving illustration and storytelling from birth. From Ktunaxa, English and Norwegian heritage, myth, legend and fairytale is fuel to his creative fire. Creative director and founder of a company who designs and fabricates puppets, Color Sound Lab, Hagerud has worked in puppetry for over 18 years in western Canada. In theatre, film and television, his work with marionettes, hand and rod puppets, bunraku and shadow puppets has enabled him to apply modern approaches to a tradition that stems from one of the earliest forms of storytelling.
Dusty was a recipient of a 2009 Leo Award for Anachronism Pictures’ The Anachronism and 2015 Jessie Award for Monster Theatre’s production of The Little Prince. He is one of the co-founders of the Vancouver International Puppet Festival, which had it’s inaugural debut this past October to a resounding success.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 8 feat. JB the First Lady Thursday, November 17, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Jerilynn Webster, aka JB the First Lady, is a member of the Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations. She is a Vancouver-based female hip hop/spoken word artist, beat-boxer, cultural dancer and youth educator. “using [her] words to go upwards/not backwards.” These are lyrics that describe what JB tries to convey in her music. JB has performed at over 500 hip hop shows, anywhere from auditoriums to Annual General Meetings for community organizations. She is spreading the words of empowerment & the perspective of urban indigenous women in Canada. Hip Hop is her chosen avenue of expression. JB’s music is lyrically motivated with depth, meaning, and positivity like none other. She has released 4 albums to date, “Indigenous Love” (2008); “Get Ready, Get Steady” (2011) and “Indigenous Girl Lifestyle” (2014) and the 2015 IMA winning album “Indigenized by Entertribal” in collaboration with Chief Rock.
JB is the 2015 winner of the Indigenous Music Award for Best Album Cover. She is a 5-time nominated artist at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, the only female to ever be nominated for Best Hip Hop Album (twice), and has been nominated previously for Best Pop Album & Best Album Cover.
JB wants young indigenous women to feel proud, inspired, and to see someone on stage that looks like them; representing indigenous women in mainstream media.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 7 feat. Rodrigo Hernandez-Gomez Thursday, October 20, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Rodrigo Hernandez-Gomez was born in the valley of Anahuac (Mexico City) and raised near the Xitle, he is of Nahua/Mexican descent and currently lives in unceeded Coast Sailish Territory (Vancouver). He graduated in 2010 from the MFA program at York University and in 2013 was a co-organizer of the Decolonial Aesthetics Symposium in Toronto. His installations, new-media work, wearable art pieces and performative projects have been presented internationally, including contributions to the Hemispheric Encuentro in Sao Paolo, Brazil the National Museum of Art, La Paz, Bolivia and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto. Rodrigo is a founding member of AYOTZI 68; a cultural organization for supporting hemispheric indigenous sharing through anti-capitalist strategies and combining skills from the fields of contemporary art, radical education and food sovereignty movements. As a member of La Lleca Collectiva (Mexico City), E-fagia LA media arts (Toronto), AYOTZI 68 (Vancouver), and in his ongoing collaborations with other artists, Rodrigo speaks with actions in his commitment to a multi-linear artistic practice that is critical, intellectual and collective.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 6 feat. Bracken Hanuse Corlett Thursday, September 29, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Bracken Hanuse Corlett is an interdisciplinary artist hailing from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations. He began working in theatre and performance 16 years ago, before transitioning to a practice that fuses digital-media, audio-visual performance, writing, painting, sculpture and drawing. His work combines traditional Indigenous iconography and history with new media and concepts that exist within cyclical space.
He is the co-founder of the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival. Over the last five years he has performed across the country as a member of the audio-visual collective Skookum Sound System and currently in the DJ/VJ duo See Monsters. He is a graduate of the En’owkin Centre of Indigenous Art and went to Emily Carr University of Art and Design for a B.F.A. in Visual Arts. He has also studied Northwest Coast art, carving and design from acclaimed Heiltsuk artists Bradley Hunt and his sons Shawn Hunt and Dean Hunt.
Some of his notable exhibitions, performances and screenings have been at grunt gallery, the Museum of Anthropology, Unit PITT Projects, Vancouver International Film Festival (Vancouver), Three Walls Gallery (Chicago), Ottawa International Animation Festival, SAW Gallery (Ottawa), Royal BC Museum, Open Space (Victoria), Winnipeg Art Gallery, Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective, Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Atlantic Film Festival, Tidal Force – Independent Media Arts Alliance (Halifax), Art Mur, Sommets du Cinéma D’animation (Montreal), ImagineNative, Toronto International Film Festival, Music Gallery (Toronto).
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 5 feat. Amanda Strong Thursday, April 21, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Amanda Strong is a Michif filmmaker, media artist and stop motion director currently based out of the unceded Coast Salish territory also known as Vancouver. She is the owner and director of Spotted Fawn Productions, an animation and media-based studio creating short films, commercial projects and workshops. A labour of love, Amanda’s productions collaborate with a diverse and talented group of artists putting emphasis on support and training women and Indigenous artists.
Amanda’s work explores ideas of blood memory and Indigenous ideology. Her background in photography, illustration and media extend into her award-winning stop motion animations. Her films Indigo and Mia’ challenge conventional structures of storytelling in cinema and have screened internationally, most notably at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. Amanda has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the NFB. In 2013, Amanda was the recipient K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Film and Video, and most recently the recipient of the Vancouver Mayors Arts Awards for Emerging Film and Media Artist. Amanda is currently working on her latest short animation Four Faces of the Moon for CBC Short Docs. The story is told in four chapters, exploring the reclamation of language and Nationhood, while peeling back the layers of Canada’s colonial history, revealing Canada’s extermination agenda on the buffalo.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 4 feat. Cease Wyss & Hans Winkler Thursday, April 7, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Archeological evidence suggests that Hawaiians came to the island of Kaho‘olawe as early as 400 A.D., and settled in small fishing villages along the island’s coast. For hundreds of years, Kaho‘olawe served as a navigational center, the site of an adze quarry, an agricultural center, and a site for religious and cultural ceremonies.
But as modern times rolled in, Kaho‘olawe began to undergo a harsh evolution. It would be used as a penal colony to exile prisoners from the general populace, for sheep and cattle ranching, until World War II when the island was occupied by the US military from 1942 – 1990 as a training zone for bomb testing and air warfare technology.
Sustained protest by the Hawaiian population and eventual litigation forced an end to the bombing, and after a 10-year period of artillery removal, control was transferred back to the state of Hawaii in 2003. The island is currently uninhabitable and accessible only to Native Polynesians, strictly within the context of cultural or spiritual purposes, restoration, planting work, and re-vegetation.
Hans Winkler gained access to the restricted island in 2013 and in 2014 Cease Wyss joined him to explore the possibilities of artistic projects. In this talk they discuss their experiences and plans for their projects. Wyss will discuss her project “Kanaka Ranch to Kaho’olawe Island: Ephemeral Canoe Art” which explores similarities between Hawaiian and West Coast BC canoe cultures, while Winkler will present “Zero Zone” his mapping project of the island.
T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo//Hawaiian/Swiss). My work spans over two and a half decades, working with artists and communities on projects that utilize technology and community engagement as a means of sharing stories. Web-based works like Picto-Prophecy (2012) – with En’owkin Centre’s Ullus Collective – and public art such as Talking Poles (2009) – Surrey Cultural Capital Art Award – & the Stanley Park Environmental Art Project (2009) all take site specific inspirations and the stories of our past that inform us in the present, while looking towards the future and what part we play in the timeline of our ancestry. Culture and spirituality feed my soul and fuel my creativity. Throughout my life I have been training my spirit to reconnect to my ancestors and bring the stories back to my family and community that we lost through colonization and the Residential Schools. Whether I bring communities together through interactivity like geocaching games or building food security programs the art I engage in plays a significant role.
Hans Winkler (b. 1955) is an artist and curator who lives and works in Berlin and New York. Since 1999, he has been Visiting Artist and Lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute. Winkler’s art projects include “The Escape of the Iceman/Ötzi” (2008) in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology at EURAC, Bolzano and the Museum of Modern Art; “Held Saga” (2005) at Adademie der Kuenste, Berlin. Recently co-curated exhibitions include “California Conceptual Art” (2010) with Paul Kos and Tony Labat at ar/ge kunst in Bolzano, Italy; and “legal/illegal” (2004) with Helen Adkins and Kai Bauer at NGBK, Berlin.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 3 feat. Larissa Healey Thursday, March 17, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Larissa Healey (aka Gurl23) is an Ojibway mural artist and an inspirational leader for street youth drop-in cultural programs like the Museum of Anthropology’s Native Youth Program, one of Canada’s longest running First Nations programs.
Larissa’s artwork has been seen at The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Bill Reid Gallery, Power Plant Gallery, The National Gallery of Canada and The Museum of Anthropology, to name a few. You might also recognize her work from underneath the Granville Street Bridge at the entrance to Granville Island, among many other places.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 2 feat. Mark Igloliorte February 18, 2016 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Mark Igloliorte, our featured speaker for February, is an artist who was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and grew up in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. His artistic work is primarily painting and drawing. He has exhibited in group and solo shows across Canada.
Recently, Igloliorte has participated in national and international exhibitions such as Beat Nation, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC; Le Nouveau Pleinairisme, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec, QC; drift, (Solo), curator Ryan Rice, The Toronto Free Gallery, Toronto, ON; and The Québec Triennial 2011: The Work Ahead of Us, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal QC.
He has been the recipient of a number of awards and grants including the Lillian Vineberg Award in Painting and Drawing, The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Visual Arts Grant, and a Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist Grant. Igloliorte is represented by Gallerie Donald Browne.
As an Inuk, Igloliorte’s work draws from his Labradorian background and communities of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Hopedale. He has been recognized as a Labrador Inuit Role Model by the Nunatsiavut Government. In the summer of 2008 and 2009 he worked with several groups of Inuit Youth delivering painting and drawing workshops funded in part by The National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS).
He holds both a Bachelor of Education (Intermediate/Secondary) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Bachelor of Fine Art, Major in Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a Master’s of Fine Art, Studio Art – Painting and Drawing from Concordia University School of Graduate Studies.
Igloliorte is an Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Spark: Fireside Artist Talk No. 1 feat. Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo January 21, 2106 Native Education College 285 East 5th Avenue
Vancouver-based artist Osvaldo Ramirez Castillo explores issues around collective memory, historical trauma, and cultural identity in relation to the violence that occurred against civilians during the 12-year Civil War in El Salvador.
A series of mixed media drawings depict surreal and vibrant scenes filled with creatures in uniform; fragmented bodies tense with sinew and muscle; and carefully drawn figures with faces partially obscured or obliterated. Iconography sourced from North American vernacular culture, Pre-Columbian mythology, and Salvadoran popular folklore is amalgamated to explore the role of non-linear storytelling expressed in mythic form.
Born in El Salvador, Castillo immigrated to Canada in 1989 at the age of 11. He attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto 1998-2001) and received an MFA from Concordia University (2004-2007). A previous resident of Montreal, Castillo relocated to Vancouver in 2013.
We are pleased to present the first instalment of Pet Peeves, a series in which grunt’s Gallery Assistant, Hedy Wood, investigates grunt gallery’s staff by interviewing their pets. We will post a new instalment of Pet Peeves each month. Enjoy!
It had honestly never occurred to me that there might be a pet without a peeve until I went to Dan’s place. I mean, who has a cat that is so content, he doesn’t destroy the furniture? Or wake you up in the middle of the night by sitting on your head? Or sit beside the food bowl, yelling? Well, apparently DAN has that cat! Apparently, everything is all just super duper all the time over there!
It’s not exactly that I am obsessed with finding fault with grunt staff, but really, there has to be something wrong with them. At work they are kind, inclusive, courteous and professional, while also managing to be fun…..and good looking. I mean, Come ON! Gah! How is that interesting?
No, there has to be something else going on and I figure those pets are the ones that know. Surely they are harbouring some kind of secret grudge? They’ve got to be peeved about some terrible thing the staff is doing. I just need to get to the bottom of it.
Boris and I met at the beginning of March at Dan Pon’s east end apartment. (Dan has been grunt’s archives manager for the last 3 years, and was involved with the gallery for 4 years before that in a variety of capacities. He also works as a librarian at Langara College and West Vancouver Memorial Library. He probably barely has time to even feed a cat.)
Boris is a lanky, handsome, debonair black and white cat. He also appeared to be a bit shy, but totally charming, hmmmm, I did not see how this was going to help with my particular mission. But I put my phone on record and commenced with the interview, optimistic as always, and with a pocketful of cat treats on hand.
Me: So Boris, tell me how you and Dan met.
Boris: Well, about six years ago, I had fallen on some difficult times and I was temporarily living in a shelter down in Seattle. I had been living with a big gang of cats outside a warehouse, but that situation was about to end, and I fear, all of our lives with it! Dan and his partner were in desperate need of a feline rescue, and of course, I was looking for better accommodations, so I caught their eye when they came into the shelter. Long story short, they ended up terminating their vacation in order to bring me to their home in Canada. People just do not realize the amount of effort we cats put in to rescuing them. I had to lure them all the way to Seattle, AND disrupt their vacation.
Me: Yeah, ok, good, that’s nice, what a sweet story. But what I really want to know is do you have any complaints about Dan? Here have a treat.
Boris: Actually, there is literally almost nothing wrong with Dan. I mean he works a lot, and he could be here, spending time with me and doing things for me, but that’s about it.
Me: So, would you say everything here is all perfect and completely GOOD?!It’s just NICE and PLEASANT all the time?!!!
Boris: I have to say that I do worry a bit about Dan’s hearing. I mean how loudly does a cat have to YELL before he realizes that I need something? What if I’m hungry, or need to go outside, or the litter box is in bad condition? Sometimes I have to yell at him for ten minutes or so before he responds! But he is really so excellent in every other way, I’ve got no complaints at all.
Me: F WORD! What about snoring? That can be very annoying, or excessive gassiness and farting? Or stupid nick names? He can’t be THAT perfect!
Boris: Sometimes they call me Flatfish, which has to do with my elegant, low slung hunting posture, but I kind of like that. And no, no particular gassiness that I have noticed….
Me: Come ON! There’s got to be SOMETHING!! You’ve been together for what? Six years now?
Boris: My word, you certainly are a very persistent person, dogged almost…..all right then, I do think it would be very nice of them to get me a little kitten buddy…..there, I said it! Oh, and they might want to do something about the condition of my scratching post, it’s a tad shabby…I don’t say these things as complaints at all, more like helpful suggestions….
Now, I have to say that by this point in the interview, I was beginning to grind my teeth. My own good opinion of Dan was completely unaltered, and Boris was ready to get out for a bit on his neighborhood patrol. And what kind of dirt had I dug up? Absolutely zero, zilch, zip nada! Everything was just a little too good around Dan’s and it was getting on my nerves. Definitely it was time to leave.
While I was grumpily riding the #4 back to my place, I thought about Meagan and her “protective” bulldogs and the way they vigilantly guard her house. That must be a terrible situation. Goody. I planned to call her as soon as I got home….
Position: Program Director
Location: grunt gallery
Reporting to: Board of Directors
Term: Full-time, permanent 35 hours/week. Evening and weekend work. Flexible schedule. Start Date: May 1, 2019. As part of grunt gallery’s succession plan there will be a one year overlap between the incoming Program Director and the outgoing Program Director.
Application Deadline: February 28, 2019 @ 5:00pm PST
About grunt gallery:
Formed in 1984, grunt gallery is an artist-run centre located in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC. grunt gallery has built its reputation on innovative programs that showcase current and past work by contemporary Canadian and international artists. Working with a wide range of collaborators, grunt gallery confidently supports interdisciplinary projects, performance, media works, publications, websites, artist talks, research residencies, mentorships, publicly-sited projects and socially engaged initiatives alongside gallery-based exhibitions. grunt gallery continues to provide space for artistic agency, diverse perspectives, unruly practices and community connection.
General Description of the Position:
• The Program Director supports the organization’s mandate, public image and shares the overall mission and vision with the Board of Directors. The Program Director maintains the gallery’s relationships with donors, foundations, members, artists, patrons, stakeholders and the general public.
• The Program Director is the conceptual visionary of the organization, which includes fundraising and grant-writing, and should have extensive familiarity with local, national and international art communities.
• The Program Director is responsible for developing key connections to determine, develop and coordinate the annual programming of grunt gallery. In addition, the Program Director oversees work related to grunt gallery’s archivist and digital/physical archives—a key attribute to this work is activating grunt’s rich history and connecting it to ongoing programming.
• The Program Director works closely with the Operations Director to provide insight on overall direction and initiatives undertaken by the organization to ensure that key stakeholders and overall capacity of the organization, in consultation with the Business Manager, may be met effectively and collaboratively. The Program Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and is one of two senior members of the employee team.
• Building grunt’s community reputation via networking, development and community engagement.
• Developing programming budgets and working with the Grant Writer to secure funding, through donors, foundations, public funding and private sources.
• Meeting regularly with staff and the Operations Director to ensure clear communication regarding programming, projects and development.
• Providing leadership and guidance to the curatorial committee to determine exhibition-based programming and projects.
• Liaising with artists to determine programming possibilities within grunt’s exhibition space and beyond the physical facility.
• Attending Board of Director meetings to provide programming and budget updates.
• Providing effective leadership and insight to the Communications Director to promote grunt’s history, programming and growing expanse of projects.
• Working with the Archives Manager to determine potential funding and programming to continue the development and operations of the archive.
• Evaluating annual programming in collaboration with grunt’s staff.
• Other duties as required.
Required Skills and Education:
• Ability to work collaboratively with permanent staff; project and/or contract and remote staff.
• Exceptional communication and coordination skills to ensure knowledge and comprehension of complex project planning can be effectively understood.
• Understanding grunt is a people-centred work environment that respects a variety of working styles, primarily independent, that thrives on communication to allow for creative autonomy and decision making amongst staff.
• Critically relevant curatorial experience with knowledge of diverse communities.
• Proven success with art programming and an excellent reputation within the art community, built on previous success, rapport with artists and the ability as act as a visionary.
• Excellent understanding of artist-run centres and non-profit policies and requirements.
• Proven ability to write grants.
• Strong working knowledge of financial development and reporting practices.
• A working intercultural skill-set to effectively work with a diverse group of staff, artists and community members, and a history of engagement with Indigenous and LGBTQ2 people.
• Preferably a post-secondary education in an arts related field.
• Confident problem-solving abilities. This applies to responding to unforeseen circumstances in a calm and strategic manner; plus, the ability to problem-solve issues that may arise with staff to maintain respectful relationships that encourages continued productivity.
• Must be highly organized, detail oriented, committed to quality and able to work independently with minimal supervision.
• Ability to work flexible hours.
• Experience in public relations, media relations, communications and community outreach.
• Proven responsible financial management experience with demonstrated cost-savings and working within budgets.
Business Ethics and the Workplace:
• The Program Director must promote and set the example for ensuring a friendly, courteous, respectful and professional workplace.
• The Program Director must act in accordance with the grunt Workplace Relationship Policy, which prohibits the acceptance of gifts, loans or anything of value from any individuals with whom contact is had during the course of employment.
Please forward your cover letter outlining your interest in this position and relevant experience as well as a C.V. to Meagan <meagan at grunt dot ca>
The preferred file format is PDF.
Application Deadline: February 28, 2019 @ 5:00pm PST. Only those shortlisted will be notified.
Remuneration: $52,000 – $58,000
This position is subject to a six month probationary period.
grunt gallery welcomes applications from members of visible minorities, women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities
grunt gallery is located on the unceded, ancestral, and occupied, traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.
#116 – 350 East 2nd Avenue
grunt gallery’s Succession Plan for the transition of Program Directors
Program Director Glenn Alteen has worked with grunt since its inception in 1984 and in May of 2020 will retire after 36 years in the position. In early 2018 the board and staff of the gallery began activating our Succession Plan designed to provide as little disruption to the organization as possible during the transition of Program Directors. Our informed and active Succession Committee consisting of current and former board members and staff were tasked with addressing hiring in relation to leadership succession. After extensive work, the Committee has unrolled a timeline and hiring process for the transition. The Committee continues to refine this process on an ongoing basis and will address any succession planning issues as they arise.
A year-long transition period is being planned for the new Program Director in order to provide a seamless changeover and to download grunt’s programming and funding processes and allow for introductions to long-term artists, supporters and funders. grunt incorporated a Management Transition Reserve Fund into annual budgets since 2016 to facilitate this transition.
Formed in 1984, grunt gallery has built a reputation on innovative and dynamic programming: exhibitions, performances, artist talks, publications and special projects that showcase work by contemporary Canadian and international artists. grunt focuses on work and artists that would otherwise not be seen in Vancouver. We are proud of our ability to act as an intersection between various cultural groups based on aesthetics, medium or identity. With emerging programs such as the Blue Cabin Residency and the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen grunt is expanding and developing its range, providing artists with new and exciting opportunities and audiences with unique and important experiences.
The Program Director job call will be released on Friday, January 18, 2019. You can access information from grunt gallery’s website grunt.ca and follow grunt gallery news through our monthly newsletter and social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Meagan Kus , Director of Operations
email: meagan at grunt dot ca
Recollective: Vancouver Independent Archives Week is a series of free public events, panels, conversations, performances, and screenings that highlight artist-run centre archives, artists working with archives, and the intersections between contemporary art practices and social movements in Vancouver and beyond.
In its 2019/2020 programming year, Recollective looked beyond Vancouver to host a series of national and international presenters and respondents to examine these issues in a range of global contexts.
In 2018, the program featured perspectives and approaches to archival practice through grassroots strategies, collective organizing, hybrid models, DIY spaces, open source solutions, and counter-archives that facilitate ownership of community memory by and for community. In its 2019/2020 programming year, Recollective will host a series of national and international presenters and respondents to examine these issues in a range of global contexts.
Recollective also commissions a variety of artists, writers, and activists to create critical responses to our events. This research is added on an ongoing basis to our website archivesweek.ca to extend discourse and access to wider audiences.
PARTNERS: 221a, Artspeak, The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Rungh Magazine, VIVO Media Arts Centre, and Western Front. For more information please visit archivesweek.ca or email Emma or Dan at grunt gallery.
emma(at)grunt(dot)ca or dan(at)grunt(dot)ca