Posts Tagged “Tsimshian”

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I am planning on meeting up with my artist friend Sophia and some other artist friends tomorrow. Sophia is an artist of Ts’msyen, Heiltsuk, and Haida descent from Lax Kw’alaams (Port Simpson, BC).Her work can be described as delicate and beautiful. One of her favorite items to produce are pendants, though she has worked on a variety of carved objects, including a talking stick installment for the YVR airport in Vancouver that she completed as part of the YVR scholarship award. For all her accomplishments at such an early stage in her career, she is very humble. Her encouragement was one of the main reasons that I enrolled in Freda Diesing School. In fact, she also helped me get funding so that I could go to school. I think that I’ll buy her coffee tomorrow, as a start.

Anyways, please check out Sophia’s page at

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Butterflies #2

Butterflies #2

My newest painting is entitled “Butterflies”. It is about respect.

Terrace is built upon land that is traditionally First Nations–Tsimshian to be more accurate. Although I am not Tsimshian, I grew up in Prince Rupert and find North West Coast art to be fascinating, especially considering that it still lives in a modern context and adapts to the tools and methods of today.

Years ago, I was told by some friends that in Tsimshian culture, the butterfly crest has a special meaning and is usually reserved for those who are not Tsimshian by blood—outsiders. The interlocking nature of the butterfly motifs on this painting suggests teamwork and co-operation—each one respecting each other’s borders and not going outside or falling short of their appointment. The repeating geometry within the design also suggests that it can be extended infinitely. Thus, it is universal that for harmony to be maintained between differing peoples, respect is mandatory.

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