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REPORTING · 18th March 2015
Walter McFarlane
The Student Art Exhibition for the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art opened at the Kitimat Museum and Archives on Friday, March 6th. The exhibit will run until the 28th of this month.

“I’m glad to see a group of students who are so artistic in our gallery. This is the seventh year that we’ve hosted,” said Museum Curator, Louise Avery. “It’s with pleasure that we host once again.”

Haisla Artist, Sammy Robinson, Chief Jesse, was present to welcome the students. He welcomed the new carvers to Haisla Territory and congratulated them for starting their career as carvers. He advised them not to depend on their carving, as it would take them a while and they cannot live off of the artwork right away.

“Don’t get discouraged. It will come in time. You’ll get better as the time goes and as you get better, then you can quit your job and do your thing full time,” said Robinson. “You’ll get discouraged but don’t give it up.”

He explained people get discouraged right away and he went through the same thing. He wished them luck and told them they had good teachers.

Museum Chair Robin Rowland expressed the exhibit was great this year and they had some wonderful stuff. He told them to be ready, because: “When opportunity knocks, it sometimes a whisper.”

Dean Heron, one of the instructors expressed being an artist is tough, but if they preserver, they will have success.

Stan Bevan, another instructor, thanked Robinson for the support and the Kitimat Museum and Archives for hosting the event in a room alongside other First Nations Artifacts.

“It takes a lot of really hard work,” said Dempsey Bob, a third teacher. “You’ve really got to want to do it. There is a lot of talent. You have to have the discipline and belief in yourself and the confidence in order to do it and do it well. It takes a lot of learning. You’ve got to keep learning, as much as you can about your own culture.”

He told them if opportunity does not knock, they have to carve the door. They have to find the opportunity within themselves and earn the hard work because people will not just give it to them.

“Art is about life. You have to do things in your life if you want to be an artist, you have to settle for certain things and you have to make peace with it, you have to make peace with yourself and get on with it… and sometimes that’s the hardest part,” said Dempsey Bob.

He said the First Nations still have their artistic talent and they need to bring it out. If people can see what they are doing, they will support them.

“I think that this is the biggest show that we have here at the Kitimat Museum. I think it is a testament to the hard work that the students put forward here in the first semester at school,” said Heron.