REPORTING · 6th April 2014
There is still a week left to check out the amazing art of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art Exhibit at the Kitimat Museum and Archives. The event opened on Friday, march 14th and closes on Saturday, April 12th. This is the 5th year the art has been hosted at the Museum.
Hereditary Chief Sammy Robinson was present on March 14th to say a few words of welcome to the artists and congratulate them on completing their course and offer them some words of advice.
Stan Bevan and Dempscy Bob, the instructors also said a few words. “It’s like a celebration of what they’ve done so far and it’s the highlight of the work the students have done over the year. This year, it’s quite big,” said Bevan.
Bob expressed they were thankful to show the artwork in different places. “It’s really important that people see it and recognize it,” said Bob. He said he first started art with Robinson, there were not many places where they could display their work, nobody was teaching. Now, the First Nations Artwork is beginning to grow again.
“We have to continue what our ancestors would have done, and we have to make them proud, make our people proud. That’s part of it, the quality of the work and how you present it, how you present it, how you represent yourself. Because in reality, how you represent your nations, how you represent your people, you represent your culture. That is why it is very important to really have respect for our culture, our people, our elders, because that’s what it means. Our culture was built on respect and love for our people, our land, the animals, our crests our history, our stories, our songs,” said Bob.
Joe Daniels and CJ Bennett, students, were called upon to speak about the program. Daniels expressed he was happy to see the nations represented with their artwork. Bennot stated the art was something which brought people together. He also stated it is a part of the First Nations identity, who they have been for 1000’s of years.
The evening included music and drumming. There were 19 students in the class. 12 were first year, 7 were second year.