Salish Weave is a large private collection of contemporary Coast Salish art that weaves together the distinctive art form, designs and style of established and emerging artists. The collection stems from and mostly resides on traditional Coast Salish territories of British Columbia.
Discovery and Collection
The story of Salish Weave began in 2000 following our immediate attraction to the style and aesthetic of Salish art. This led to the purchase of our first Coast Salish pieces. Over the next few years, we learned about the revival of this art form and about the artists who made it their practice. We also learned that Coast Salish art was under-represented in the native art landscape of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
By 2003, we decided to only collect works made in the traditional Coast Salish style. Our purpose was twofold: to promote awareness of Coast Salish art, and to support the artists who are reviving it. In 2004, we actively started collecting and acquired carvings, drums and paintings, as well as silkscreen prints. We commissioned four of these prints from three artists of Vancouver Island. Our most significant acquisition that year was Salish Weave, a carved cedar panel by Susan Point. This work became the signature piece of the collection that bears its name.
Exhibitions and Education
While building the collection and personal relationships with the artists, we sought opportunities to raise public awareness at large. The first opportunity presented itself in the fall 2007 when Salish Weave was invited to participate in the exhibition, Transporters: Contemporary Salish Art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Since then, many works of Salish Weave have been exhibited in galleries and museums, universities and other institutions. As well, we helped raise awareness of contemporary Salish art by lending works to institutions and sponsoring them. To learn more, view Exhibitions and Displays.
In 2011, while still acquiring new works and participating in exhibitions, we decided to shift our focus to education. We seized the opportunity to partner with the University of Victoria and sponsor the Visiting Artist Program in Anthropology. Four years later, we started sponsoring the Summer Institute run by the Indigenous Education Department in the Faculty of Education. Learn more about these and other programs under Education.
Furthering our focus on education, we initiated the donation of our commissioned prints to the school districts located in traditional Coast Salish territories. These prints constitute what we call the ‘working’ collection. Our objective is for teachers to bring them to the classroom and integrate this art into the curriculum, at all levels and in all subjects. Find more information in the School Program section.
Building a Legacy
Our current endeavor is to ensure the legacy of the Salish Weave Collection. Our three partners in this enterprise are: The National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria Legacy Galleries. In 2015 and 2016, we donated a total of 132 works of art: 24 sculptural (three-dimensional) works and 108 silkscreen prints. We also pledged to donate 12 other sculptural works and 50 prints in the next few years. For more information, and to view the works that are now part of the collection of these three institutions, see the Salish Weave Legacy section.
With the objective of advancing our school program, started in 2012, we partnered with the Aboriginal Education team of the Cowichan Valley school district in 2016. Under the guidance of Aboriginal Education, we initiated a pilot project to inform teachers of readily available resources, and to develop samples of lessons plans and teaching aids. You will find more information under the Education section, and various resources in our Library.
Keep in Touch
Whoever you are, we hope that visiting our website will help you learn about Coast Salish art and artists, appreciate their work and inspire you to view the exhibitions and displays. We invite all educators and students to check the education programs and the library. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates and for more in-depth information, please be sure to check NEWS for our blogs and newsletters.
George and Christiane