Widely acclaimed artist Susan Point to host tour at Kelowna Art Gallery

The Kelowna Art Gallery will be hosting a special visitor next week in connection with a recently opened exhibition.

Widely acclaimed and accomplished Coast Salish (Musqueam) artist Susan Point will be in Kelowna for one evening to host a free tour and walk through her exhibition entitled Susan Point: Spindle Whorl. This marks the first solo exhibition of her work in the Okanagan. The tour will take place at the Kelowna Art Gallery on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 6 pm.

Susan Point (born 1952) is a self-taught artist who began making limited edition prints on her kitchen table in 1981 while working as a legal secretary. Fast-forward three and a half decades and Point is one of Canada’s most prolific public artists. She has produced more than 85 public art works, that are currently displayed across Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Her works range from the massive carved cedar pieces at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) entitled Musqueam Welcome Figures(1996) and Flight (1995)—the world’s largest Coast Salish Spindle Whorl—to the humble utility covers that can be found on downtown Vancouver streets. In addition, Point has produced etched-glass sculptures, prints, and jewelry. Her works have been avidly collected by both museums and private collectors.

In the book People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point, the artist says, “It wasn’t until I was in my late-20’s, when I took a jewelry course at Vancouver Community College in January of 1981, that I discovered that we, as Coast Salish people, have our own unique art style. This discovery marked the beginning of my career, and for the past 37 years I have truly dedicated myself to reviving Coast Salish art.”

Point is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. She has been recognized with an Inspire Achievement Award; a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award; a BC Creative Achievement Award; appointed lifetime member to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; and was listed as one of BC’s 100 most influential women. She holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, U.B.C., and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Susan Point: Spindle Whorl is a touring exhibition from the Vancouver Art Gallery that showcases 40 works, which are accompanied by a special selection of 14 works borrowed directly from the artists’ studio for the Kelowna Art Gallery.

The exhibition is on view from May 18 to August 18, 2019. It is organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art and Ian M. Thom, former Senior Curator–Historical.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online at www.kelownaartgallery.com or call 250-762-2226.

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