Simon Fraser University Galleries

SFU Burnaby campus, Academic Quadrangle 3004, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Since 2010, Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the Salish Weave Collection have been partners in raising awareness of contemporary Coast Salish art. At the time, Salish Weave donated nine limited edition prints of its Box Set I and loaned Written in the Earth, a large work by Coast Salish artist Susan Point, to the university.

Written in the Earth, whose design was created in 2000, is a series of four cast aluminium and red cedar panels. It was first displayed in the Transporters: Contemporary Salish Art exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in late 2007. Acquired by Salish Weave in 2008, this large work was loaned to SFU from 2010 to 2017 and installed on the campus northeast side, above First Nations Studies in the Saywell Hall atrium.

A second large Susan Point work, Blue Herons, was originally commissioned as a set of panels in 2008 by the city of Richmond for the 2010 Olympic skating oval. Each of the three individual designs was cast into five of the fifteen concrete structural buttresses that support the building. Blue Herons, now a triptych of carved and painted red cedar panels, joined the Salish Weave Collection in 2011. The same year, Salish Weave and SFU signed a loan agreement and the panels were installed in the atrium of the Technology & Science Complex I located on the campus southeast side.

In early 2018, Salish Weave welcomed Simon Fraser University as a partner in its succession plan and gifted Written in the Earth and Blue Herons to the SFU Galleries. Later that year, the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board deemed both of these large Susan Point works of “outstanding significance and national importance”, to be protected and preserved as part of Canadian artistic heritage.

Written in the Earth and Blue Herons are featured in People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point, a book authored by Robert D. Watt, and published by Figure 1 Publishing and MOA (Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia) in 2019.