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Expressions of Reclamation features Indigenous artists in New West

Arts Council of New Westminster series offers a series of in-person and livestream events in July and August
Expressions of reclamation
Clockwise from top left: S^yowah, Mitchell Saddleback, Kaija Heitland, Elder Christy David and Fawnda Bullshields are all part of the Expressions of Reclamation showcase series.

Contemporary Indigenous artists are reclaiming their identity through art – and New Westminster residents are invited to engage with that art this summer.

The Arts Council of New Westminster is hosting a summer series called Expressions of Reclamation, curated by guest curator S^yowah.

“I’ve noticed that whenever there are words like reconciliation or reclamation, it has to do with land claims, but I’m interested in artists who use their creativity and artistic expression to reclaim their identity, their place in their nation, to connect to who they are,” said S^yowah (Timothy Elijah), who is a member of the Onyota’aka Nation located outside of London, Ont.

Expressions of Reclamation will showcase feature presentations by emerging Indigenous artists – including artist talks, performance art, seminars, live drawing/painting, collaborative activities, workshops and performances.

Events will be a hybrid of in-person and online, and all live events will follow COVID-19 protocols. In-person offerings all require pre-registration through Eventbrite

Among the upcoming events:

Saturday, July 24 at noon: Fawnda Bullshields presents the Lady’s Fancy Shawl dance in Queen’s Park (meet at Centennial Lodge).

Thursday, July 29 at noon: Elder Christy David demonstrates ribbon skirt sewing at Centennial Lodge, Queen’s Park

Friday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m.: Mitchell Saddleback performs stand-up comedy and spoken word poetry at Queen’s Park (meet at Centennial Lodge).

Thursday, Aug. 12 at noon: Kaija Heitland demonstrates fabric design in a livestream event, online from her studio

The Expressions of Reclamation series supports the arts council’s goal of building strong relations with Indigenous artists and of facilitating dialogue, practice and education between presenting artists and community members.

It’s supported by the Deux Mille Foundation.

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Do you have arts-related news to share? Email Julie, jmaclellan@newwestrecord.ca.