Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe Exhibit – Held Over until March 24

Bill Reid's Black Eagle Canoe. Photo Credit: Harry Foster

Haven’t had a chance yet to check out the Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe Exhibit at downtown’s Bill Reid Gallery?  You’re in luck.  The landmark exhibition – exploring the dramatic role of the canoe in Northwest Coast art and culture – is being extended through March 24.

So what’s so important about the canoe?  In the word’s of Bill Reid himself, the artist who nearly single-handedly triggered a renaissance in first nations art in Canada: “Western art starts with the figure – West Coast Indian art starts with the canoe.”  In other words, the canoe is much more than just a means of transportation: It’s a work of art that embodies an entire culture.

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Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe Exhibit – Held Over until March 24

A New Take on Native Art: Shawn Hunt at Blanket gallery

In Vancouver, we’re surrounded by Northwest Coast art, from the totem poles in Stanley Park to the intricate sculptures in the Bill Reid Gallery.  Even if you’re not a big fan, you can probably instantly recognize the style – bold colors, clearly outlined forms and a repetition of basic shapes.

All of which makes a new exhibition of Northwest Coast art at downtown’s Blanket Contemporary Art gallery unique.   The show by local artist Shawn Hunt offers a dramatically new, and sometimes controversial, take on a tradition that stretches back thousands of years.

Hunt’s pieces use unconventional colors and distort common shapes.  He also tackles taboo subjects, like eroticism and cultural conflict, that rarely surface in traditional aboriginal art.

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A New Take on Native Art: Shawn Hunt at Blanket gallery