In August 2021, BC Bus North and the Northern Indigenous Arts Council (NIAC) were excited to unveil four large-scale, local pieces of Indigenous art and bring inspiring beauty to the communities of Northern BC. The artwork adorns the sides of BC Bus North buses as they travel their regularly scheduled routes in Northern BC and add even more beauty to the surrounding landscape. The initiative is a result of a nontraditional partnership between NIAC and BC Bus North and was launched in May 2021.
Starting with a call for submission to Indigenous artists living in Northern BC, an adjudication panel was formed to make final selections of local pieces of art in any medium that could translate well into large-scale digital format. Four pieces have now been chosen to adorn the BC Bus North buses that provide essential scheduled passenger service to over 40 communities, including Prince Rupert, Prince George, Valemount, Fort Nelson, and Dawson Creek
“It means so much to us to be able to tell a positive story and celebrate the talent, the beauty, and the importance of Indigenous culture in Northern BC and beyond,” says Diane Levesque, NIAC President, “We’re thrilled to showcase this powerful and moving artwork in a very unique way.”
Congratulations to the four artists whose work is now showcased on BC Bus North coaches on routes throughout Northern BC:
We are North with Sunset Sunrise
Timothy Foster: “I am from the Lax Seel (Frog) Clan in the house of Nisto, within the Gitxsan National located on the Skeena River in the North West of British Columbia. Being a matrilineal nation, I follow under my mother’s clan and it was my mother and three older sisters who helped raise me in a small neighbourhood in Hazelton on a street named Wiggins Way. As a young boy, when staying with my father in his village of Kisplox, I was introduced to the later Walter. E. Harris, OC carving shop “The Hiding Place” and fell in love with the smell of cedar instantly. That is where my young creative mind began to grow and take in the beautiful art and carvings of the Gitxsan.”
Michelle Stoney: Michelle Stoney was raised in the Gitxsan territory, in the house of Delgamuukw. Michelle is an acrylic painter, jeweller, sculpture and muralist. Michelle completed her Bachelors of fine arts degree from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2012 and Graduated from the Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts program at NEC in 2018. In 2019 Michelle received a BC achievement award (Fulmer award) known as the Crab-tree Mclennan Emerging artist award. Michelle is currently living in her home community of Gitanmaax , following in her late grandfathers (Victor Mowatt) footsteps teaching art to the local communities.
Bear’s Prayers for the Salmon’s Journey
Clayton Gauthier: “Art is in my blood, I have been an artist most my life and am grateful to have the gift of learning, living and sharing. Walking this journey as an artist, I have learned a lot about myself and the art that I produce. Throughout the years my art is always changing with new insights, challenges and teaching from the world around me. My background is Cree and Dakelh/Carrier and most of the art I do is revolved around my traditional teachings. Throughout this art journey I have completed many logos, murals, drums, rattles, digital art and custom orders that are all revolved around our traditional teachings. I love working closely with the community to share our traditions to make this world a better place. The art I produce from my Miund and Spirit will always be with me. The animals depicted have their stories and meanings of lifelong learning and I love to share and teach to whomever wants to learn. I have a unique style of art that has grown in the past 10 years and I have a lot to learn in the future…and I know my art is going to change as time goes on. My goals as an artist is to teach and share my gifts to the people who want to learn. We, the Indigenous people, are as beautiful as our art. Much Respect.”
We Are All Connected
Kari Morgan K’alaajex: “My name is Kari Morgan my background is Nisga’a from the house of Kw’isk’ayn. I am a full-time Entrepreneur, Sculptor, Painter, and Designer. While studying under master carvers, Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevan, and Ken McNeil, I received The Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art Advanced Diploma in 2019. I have displayed artwork in various shows at The Museum of Northern British Columbia, Terrace Art Gallery, Smithers Art Gallery, The Kitimat Museum, The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, and the Stonington Gallery in Seattle. I believe traditional art is more than just the visual language for the people of the Northwest, I also believe it is medicine for the soul. I hope to continue to pass on my knowledge of traditional arts and to display the strengths of my culture and people through my art and to create positive narrative change.”
Thank you to the Province of British Columbia and the Community Arts Council of Prince George & District for supporting this amazing initiative!