Photo: Henri Robideau, 2019
The Blue Cabin floated into Vancouver’s False Creek in summer 2019. In the fall of 2019, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency launched Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore, the inaugural program of artist residencies, open houses, talks and workshops. Situated in the unceded lands and waters of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency offers a vantage point from which to consider the city differently. International in scope but deeply rooted in the histories and narratives of this place, the Blue Cabin offers a unique opportunity to learn, explore and engage with the foreshore.
The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency brings forward a desire and need for alternate modes of living and working, and expands our understanding of what constitutes public space.
Despite Vancouver’s international reputation for producing exceptional artists, inflated real estate prices make it challenging for arts organizations to offer visiting artists spaces for research, experimentation, innovation, and exchange. Artist residencies exist worldwide, and the experiences of those who have been lucky enough to take part are often described as life-changing and transformational. Recognizing this need for such a generative space, the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency presents an opportunity that is unique to this region while global in its reach.
The Blue Cabin sat between the low and high tide lines at Cates Park in North Vancouver since 1932 and has resisted ownership for nearly 100 years. It was home to maritime labourers and families – and since the late ‘60s was a place of creative respite and subsistence for Vancouver artists Al Neil and Carole Itter. Representing the last vestiges of a cultural tradition of artists and others living in squatter shacks along the foreshores of this region’s waterways, Al Neil and Carole Itter’s Blue Cabin was one of many structures that dotted the shores of Burrard Inlet. In 2014, the land adjacent to the cabin, McKenzie Barge and Marine Ways Co. Ltd., was sold to Polygon Homes for redevelopment, initiating the remediation of the foreshore and the small cove the Blue Cabin was nestled within. To avoid demolition, the cabin was moved five kilometres west to a secure storage lot, then later to Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver where it underwent a full remediation, completed in February 2018.
Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore is a celebration of Coast Salish weaving practices that have developed in these territories since time immemorial. As such, it is anchored by the participation of weavers from the three local nations: Debra Sparrow from Musqueam, Janice George and Buddy Joseph of Squamish, and Angela George from Squamish/ Tsleil-Waututh. Skeins also includes a residency with Australian Indigenous artist and activist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara) produced in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts. Rooted in the local, and spanning the international, these artists bring a long history of cultural, ceremonial and community involvement, organizing and reclaiming, aesthetics and activism.
Since 2015, grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations have been committed to ensuring the cabin’s legacy continues, and that its use as a floating artist residency will benefit both artists and broader public alike.
Learn more at thebluecabin.ca
For general inquiries please contact email@example.com
Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore has been assisted by Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver Public Art Boost program and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
The Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency is grateful for the visionary support of Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver, Heritage Canada’s Cultural Spaces Program, British Columbia Arts Council, BC Museums Association Canada 150 Program, BC Collaborative Spaces Program, District of North Vancouver, Wayne Saunders, Fred McMaster and Larry Carrier of Vancouver Pile Driving Ltd., Carole Itter, Marko Simcic of Simcic + Ulrich Architects, Australia Council for the Arts, Canadian Metropolitan Properties Corporation, Maplewood Farm, Polygon Homes, Canexus Corporation, Jane Irwin and Ross Hill, PM-Volunteers, Harold Kalman, Andrew Todd Conservators Ltd, Ian McMurdo, Wayne Poole, Lisa Muri, Clint Low of Bush Bohlman & Partners, Carlo Elholm of Advisian Engineers, Jeremy and Sus Borsos, Germaine Koh Studio Ltd., The Audain Foundation, Lehigh Hanson, Harris Steel, Inform Interiors, Native Shoes, Brent Comber Originals, K. Joseph Spears and Monica Ahlroos of Horseshoe Bay Marine Group, European Touch Hardwoods, Rick Erickson and Donna Partridge, Heritage BC, San Cedar, Robinson Lighting and Bath, Fasteel, Standard Building Supplies, ShapeMeasure, Fine Art Framing, Vancouver Renewable Energy Cooperative, Ames Tile & Stone, Australian High Commission, The Hamber Foundation, Port of Vancouver North Shore Waterfront Liaison Committee and our other generous supporters and donors.
The volunteer team that continues to work to develop the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency consists of Glenn Alteen, Program Director of grunt gallery, Barbara Cole, Director of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Esther Rausenberg, Co-artistic Director of Creative Cultural Collaborations.
Join our Blue Cabin Newsletter list here.
Please consider donating to the Blue Cabin project. Your support is important in achieving our mission.
Youth Art Exhibition, April 25-28 2017
Closing Reception: April 28, 2017, 6 pm-8:30 pm
DATES: March 18 – April 8, 2017
What’s At Stake? Intertextual Indigenous Knowledges
Saturday, February 4, 2017
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
World Art Centre, SFU, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver
What’s At Stake? Intertextual Indigenous Knowledges is an afternoon of talks, panels and a spoken word performance that examines knowledge, power, authority, and sovereignty in the construction of artistic practices.
Following on Intertextual: Art in Dialogue, a roving reading group that was held at participating galleries over the last year, this program is meant to function less like a syllabus and more like a web of ideas. Taking the critical historiography of Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A Changing History of Ideas (UBC Press, 2013) as a point of provocation, this event belongs to an intertextual discussion of artistic practice and the role of art institutions (from artist-run centres to public gallery models) in Vancouver.
Intertextual aims to examine/critique and create/support a community based in text, recognizing the process of selection and concomitant erasure that occurs in any process of representation.
Beginning with a welcome by Musqueam artist and knowledge keeper Debra Sparrow and concluding with a spoken word performance by Nuu-chah-nulth/Kwakwaka’wakw poet Valeen Jules, the afternoon features talks by notable cultural figures involved in Indigenous art: art historian Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Nuu-chah-nulth historian, poet and artist Ron Hamilton (Ḳi-ḳe-in), Kwakwaka’wakw artist, activist and scholar Marianne Nicolson, and Cree curator and scholar Richard Hill, Canada Research Chair at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. In addition, a lively discussion between Vancouver Indigenous scholars, curators and artists – Lindsay Lachance, Jordan Wilson, Jeneen Frei Njootli and Jennifer Kramer – promises to be a highlight.
This series has been produced with the participation of SFU Galleries, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Contemporary Art Gallery, grunt gallery, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology, Presentation House Gallery, UBC Press, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Western Front.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Vancouver, British Columbia – Visual Arts, Discussion, Behind-the-scenes
Join us for an informal discussion with grunt program director Glenn Alteen along with archivist Dan Pon and curator Vanessa Kwan. We’ll give you a brief tour of the current exhibition (Tomorrow, Tomorrow. by artist Mark Hall-Patch), talk a little about our archive, our curatorial process, and introduce some of the upcoming projects for the 2016/17 season.
Date: October 1, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Location: grunt gallery, 350 East 2 Avenue, Vancouver BC
FREE EVENT. Open to the public.
Check out this event and more on the Culture Days website.
Art Talking Women is a series of intimate conversations with a variety of hosts where female-identified artists discuss their creative process as well as their relationship with community and technology. Art Talking Women celebrates and showcases practicing Canadian women artists to the world through evolving podcast technology, internet-based social networks, and digital distribution.
This project was initiated by Margaret Dragu, the winner of the 2012 Governor General’s Award, and developed into a three part collaboration between Cinevolution Media Arts Society, Dragu’s DWI (Dragu Worker International) Production and VIVO Media Arts Centre.
Leave Out Violence (LOVE BC) is an organization working with all youth, with a strong emphasis on supporting youth who experience multiple social and systemic barriers. LOVE brings together youth from different backgrounds and experiences and offers them creative tools to tell their stories, promote non-violence and practice healthy self-expression.
LOVE LINE showcases a collection of LOVE youth’s work and stories through photography, poetry, short films and mixed media. Through this work, LOVE youth are able to share their experiences with each other and form a strong, healthy peer community. The youth team named this exhibit LOVE LINES in recognition of the long-term connections that they built at LOVE.
Painting of the mural is well underway!! Lead artists Corey Bulpitt, Sharifah Marsden, and Jerry Whitehead have been working long hours to prepare for the launch as part of the first ever Vancouver Mural Festival on Saturday, August 20. The mural is looking amazing already. Check out this beautiful timelapse video of some of the work that’s gone into it so far, as filmed by our volunteer, Rosalina Cerritos and featuring music by Russell Wallace.
Come help us paint at the official launch party on Saturday, August 20 between 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. RSVP here!
Check out the finalized design for our Past and Presence mural project for the Tsimilano Building, the NEC’s administrative building located on East 5th Avenue! Our lead artists Corey Bulpitt, Sharifah Marsden and Jerry Whitehead recently held a series of workshops with the Urban Native Youth Association’s Young Bears Lodge and other community members to collaborate on this design. See pix from those workshops here.
It’s been slow going but we’re patiently waiting for our permit and planning a paint party BBQ in July – all are welcome to attend!
For updates and invitations to mural events, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Native Education College (NEC) and grunt gallery are partnering with three Vancouver-based First Nations artists: Corey Bulpitt, Sharifah Marsden and Jerry Whitehead to create a large scale mural that celebrates the NEC’s 30th Anniversary at their location in Mount Pleasant.
We’d like to invite the public to participate! Especially youth, families, and anyone interested in learning about contemporary Indigenous art practices, Indigenous-led education, the history of Mount Pleasant, and working together to plan and paint a community mural.
The mural will be painted on the east wall of the Tsimilano Building, an administrative building located next door to the Longhouse on East 5th Avenue at Main Street, a busy urban area in East Vancouver.
Mural planning session #2
Saturday, January 23, 2016
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Native Education College Longhouse
285 East 5th Avenue
Light refreshments will be served. Attendance at meeting #1 is not a requirement. In fact, we hope new participants will come to each meeting.
This session will also include a tour of Coast Salish artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s art studio.
We will continue to meet on a monthly basis to plan the mural. Painting will take place in April 2016 followed by a big launch party!
Corey Bulpitt: aakeit Aaya or “Gifted Carver” Haida of the Naikun Raven clan was born in Prince Rupert BC in 1978. He is a great-great grandson of the famed Charles Edenshaw and Louis Collison. He is an avid painter, jeweler, wood and argillite carver who enjoys exploring different mediums such as spray paint, which he has used to create large-scale paintings involving urban youth in Vancouver. Through his study Corey creates functional pieces that can be used in the traditional context of song and dance.
Sharifah Marsden: Sharifah is an Anishnaabe artist from Mississauga’s of Scugog Island First Nation. Sharifah draws from her Anishnaabe roots and her knowledge of Woodlands art to create works that include everything from acrylic paintings, murals to beadwork and engraving. She graduated from the Native Education College, Northwest Coast Jeweller Arts program under established Haida/Kwakwaka’wakw artist, Dan Wallace. She has been focusing on her own career as an artist, creating jewellery and designing murals for a number of Vancouver’s non-profit organizations.
Jerry Whitehead: Jerry is of Cree heritage from the James Smith First Nation in Saskatchewan. Art has been his lifelong passion. Today Jerry resides in Vancouver and he continues to paint within his community and abroad. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree – Indian Art (S.I.F.C) from the University of Regina in 1983. He then went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1987. You may view Jerry’s artistic projects at jerrywhitehead.com and see the various projects he has been involved with.
Session #1 – December 9, 2015
Approximately 15 people gathered to meet the artists, Corey, Sharifah, and Jerry. Russell Wallace from the NEC spoke, as did Tarah Hogue, Aboriginal Curatorial Resident from grunt gallery. Each of the artists gave a presentation which included photos and stories of past murals they’ve worked on. Then we all walked outside together to look at the blank wall we would soon be painting. It’s really large! At the end, everyone took a blank piece of paper and sketched out their ideas for the mural design.
New and returning participants convened to continue planning the NEC’s 30th anniversary mural. We started the session with a visit to Coast Salish artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s studio. Wow!!! Lawrence impressed upon us the importance of meaning and symbolism in artwork. It really made us think about what we wanted to say with our mural. Afterwards, we went back to the NEC where Corey Bulpitt gave us a lesson in the use of the “ovoid” shape in Coast Salish art. Then we broke out the colouring pencils and tried to create our own ovoid inspired designs. We also got a sneak preview into what might be the first draft of our actual mural design, but it’s still in process.
Join the NEC Mural Project’s Facebook group to get involved and receive updates on this evolving project.
For more information contact Tarah Hogue, Aboriginal Curatorial Resident at grunt gallery: