You may not be decking your halls just yet, but for hundreds of local artists and vendors in the Fraser Valley the Christmas craft season is here. These markets bring together everything, from food and ingredients to ornaments and kids’ clothes, in one place for the season. From now until mid-December you can find these…
by Nick Ubels
Brandon Gabriel is an internationally acclaimed mixed-media artist from the Stó:lō Coast Salish community of Kwantlen. His vivid creative work lends a critical eye to colonial processes that have attempted to relegate his culture to history books and museums. At 37, he has already amassed an impressive body of professional work that spans over 20 years and includes photography, painting, drawing, illustration, graphic design, public art installations, and architecture concepts.
“Threshold,” Brandon’s first solo exhibition, wrapped up at Centre 64 in Kimberley this summer. It’s a testament to the political potency for which his work is being recognized that he was invited to exhibit his work to draw attention to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort, which threatens a highly sensitive Grizzly Bear migration corridor.
In addition to his work as a sessional instructor at universities throughout the Lower Mainland and other artistic endeavours, Brandon is preparing to co-curate an exhibition at the ACT Gallery in Maple Ridge to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation that will provide “a critical perspective on what this colonial birthday means to indigenous people.”
I had the opportunity to talk to Brandon about his formative experiences as a visual artist and how his work has become more politically and socially engaged as his career has progressed.
June is Canada’s Aboriginal Awareness month, yet some feel Abbotsford falls short in bringing local First Nations culture to the forefront. Public events that highlight Aboriginal art and worldview are scarce, despite Abbotsford’s presence on unceded Stó:lō territory. This absence has been long apparent to Tery Kozma, who has been volunteering with the Abbotsford Arts…