We had a successful opening night!
I had the utmost pleasure to attend the reception and enjoy good company. For the "Beyond Words: Stories of Our Time" reception, the gallery served bannock and jam, a popular Indigenous dish that was catered from BigHeart Bannock Catering. It was delicious and the jam was perfect. I caught up with other volunteers and staff who contributed to the gallery and administration. It was good to chat with them and catch up with what has been going on in our lives. Many people came and attended the event, it was a success!
Matsqui artist, Carman McKay and Douglas Park Community School educator, Lorraine Goulet gave a wonderful talk about the "S'ólh Téméxw - Sacred Land" project we are currently showing at the exhibition. It was great to hear about the cycle of life and how it interconnected with the Living Library. Hearing about how the students engaged with the project through the seasons, learning about Indigenous plants as well as sharing their stories had an immense positive impact with the students, the school and the staff. The engagement and openness about the First Peoples Principles of Learning helped me be more reflective on the immersive relationship the community provides its students. This project creates that sanctuary space, giving them opportunities to connect with the earth and each other.
Artist Carman McKay and Educator Lorraine Goulet giving their talk about "S'ólh Téméxw - Sacred Land" Living Library
A student representative from Surrey School District came in to talk about "Our Story, Our Future: Hide and Seek" music video that she and 22 Indigenous students collaborated over. With professional hip hop producers and videographers, they were given the chance to express themselves as proudly Indigenous. From her talk about her identity of being Indigenous, she expressed how she was able to be who she is through this collaborative video. By providing her voice through the media, the students were able to explore their cultural identity.
It was a successful night. With the support from students and staff alike, we were able to create a great exhibition that encourages Indigenous knowledge and teachings. What a great way to start the fall exhibition of 2017!
The "Beyond Words: Stories of Our Time" exhibition is open from September 30 - April 7, 2017. Feel free to come by!
Look forward to more ArtStarts excitement on my next blog post!