Coast Mountain College students win awards for northwest coast art

·2 min read

Two first-year students at Coast Mountain College’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art are winners of the President’s Art Award.

Haisla and Nak’azdli artist Alexander Erickson took first place and the $2,500 award for his work titled “The Provider,” which is an acrylic painting of a bumblebee on a birch panel. In addition to the cash prize Erickson receives 10 prints of the design and his work will be on permanent display at the college.

“It truly shows what an impact it has on all our relations, plants, trees, people and the animals. In the center ovoid, is the human, one that has forgotten the importance of the bee,” said Erickson in his artist statement. “In the Abdomen, is an eye, to show our ancestors who are always watching us. Finally, the wings show, what I see, as the Pollen Spirits.”

Second place was awarded to Nisga’a artist Lucy Trible for her acrylic painting on birch panel “Ganaaẃ Ganx’oots’in,” which incorporates copper and abalone rounds in the design.

The President’s Art Award is distributed annually before the students’ art show at the Terrace Art Gallery, which runs Feb. 5 to Feb. 27. The college has made a virtual gallery available on its website for those who are unable to attend the Terrace Art Gallery in person.

“I am so pleased to recognize both of this year’s recipients,” said Justin Kohlman, Coast Mountain College president, in a media release. “They have demonstrated that notwithstanding the pandemic’s impact on learning, that creativity persists and continues to thrive.”

The awards were established seven years ago to recognize the talent of students in the program. This year, renowned carver and instructor Dempsey Bob joined the selection committee.

Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News