Library calls for Squamish Nation artists for unique window project

·3 min read

Squamish Public Library is set to permanently acknowledge its location on the traditional territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation through a commissioned artwork.

The library is inviting artists from the nation to submit designs for a vinyl window covering for the front of the library building and the children’s area.

"The intention is for the artwork of a Squamish Nation artist to publicly and permanently acknowledge the library's location on the traditional territory of the Squamish Nation,” Rachel Bergquist, public services librarian, said.

"This art commission aims to celebrate the art, traditions, culture, and land of the Squamish Nation through the unique vision of the artist.”

She said windows of the library offered the opportunity for a large-scale showcase of art, visible to library patrons, passersby, and the hundreds of people who use Squamish Transit.

"We have so many visitors to our town and the library really is a hot spot for people looking for directions, bathrooms, and other resources," Bergquist said.

"So, it’s just exciting to have the opportunity to have that public acknowledgement facing outward to both the people who are living in our community, but also those people who are passing through who might not have as much of an understanding of where they are.”

The library is searching for a design that will feel like an integrated part of the building and still allow for some visibility through the windows, with the final image to be printed on cut-out frosted vinyl in monochrome white and grey.

“We wanted something that still allows for us to see outside and allows the natural light in,” Bergquist said, on the choice of frosted vinyl.

“We want people inside the library to be able to see the world around them. Sitting inside the library, looking out that window, you can see the Stawamus Chief.”

The chosen artist will receive $5,400 for the digital file of their commissioned work and the library will arrange for the production and installation of the final product. Acknowledgement and information about the art and artist will also be installed along with the window covering.

Bergquist said artworks received will be reviewed by a selection committee of library staff, the director of library services and be shown to Squamish Nation Elders for their blessing. She said the library team was excited to see the designs artists submit and were available for any questions artists may have about the project.

The public art project was made possible by a Community Arts and Culture Enhancement Grant from the Squamish Arts Council and capital funding from the District of Squamish.

The submission deadline is Dec. 15, 2020, at 5 p.m.

The successful artist will be announced early next year, and it’s hoped the installation will occur in spring.

All proposals must be submitted to Rachel Bergquist or dropped off at the library at 37907 Second Avenue, Squamish, B.C.

Find the full call for artists here.

Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News