Native Youth Artist Collective
The Native Youth Artists Collective (NYAC) is a new organization based out of Vancouver. The mandate is to foster the artistic development in Native Youth and Artists (up to age 29 years) through research, programming and dissemination. NYAC collaborated through the grunt gallery on an Exhibition for the Aboriginal Curatorial Conference in Nov 2008. These paintings are part of an experiment to allow NYAC artists of all genres the chance to try a new medium, painting. For some it was their first time, like the Traditional Coast Salish Weaver. NYAC is committed to supporting emerging artists through programming from introductory workshops to professional development work. Visit nativeyouthart.com for more information.
Boedaya Paul, age 16
Boedaya is Mt. Curry Okanogan/Interior Salish, and Tsartlip/Coast Salish. She is an "Urban Res Native Youth" Raised on and off Musqueam reserve. She is the fourth oldest of five siblings, and the youngest of three girls, as well as sister to the many foster brothers and sisters her family has taken into its warm home. She's been raised in an open, creative environment. Pow wow life, long-house life and many other ceremonies play a huge part in who Boedaya is today.
She is currently in high school and plans to graduate and continue with her education in the field of arts. Currently, she has no professional training in the arts. This is Boedaya's first time painting a canvas in this large a scale. This piece is of a drawing that she decided to turn into a painting and feels that it came together naturally.
Boedaya enjoys reading and drawing and practices knitting, weaving from raw wool, sewing, beading, dancing, singing, painting (water-based), and creative writing.
Shadae Johnson-Paul, age 22
My DNA/NDN Bling
Shadae is a Dene/Tochene/Dogrib/Han/Okanagan/Interior Salish and Tsartlip/Coast Salish Urban Indian. Shadae is the second oldest of five siblings and the eldest of three girls. She also has many foster brothers and sisters that her family has taken into its home. She comes from a very creative background and is fortunate to have been raised and nurtured with creativity. As an urban Native youth, she has been raised on and off the Musqueam reserve. This is her first painting. Pow Wow, longhouse, and other ceremonial traditions play a big role in Shadae Johnson's life. “All elements of My DNA are based on Northern Dene beadwork designs. Inside outward is a Moose on red Dene border on orange Dene floral pattern on yellow. On gray from top to bottom are Earth-Water/Rain-Fire-Air/Wind, and the last are Dene Flower patterns to finalize the edges,” she says. Shadae practices beading, sewing, creative writing, dancing, singing, public speaking, feather and leather work, and modeling.
Karlene Harvey, age 23
Untitled Karlene Harvey is Chilcotin, Okanagan, and Carrier.
I am interested in making images and pictures through whatever media necessary. I believe that the form of my work should reflect the idea and have some sort of relationship with the process of creating. I have been working digitally with the majority of my work lately and this painting reflects a lot of my interests concerning color, space and composition. I am interested in comics, picture narratives and illustrations.
Common themes that appear in my work are identity, social decay and the idea of "home." For me, this painting is the product of a number of artists coming together in the same space to offer ideas, feedback and encouragement. In that sense, this project has just begun.
Patrick White, age 24
Heart of a Man Vs. The City
My name is Patrick White, and I'm a 24-year-old aspiring artist. I am a firm believer in artistic expression in any shape or form. For me, art is my therapy to express the person that I am in many different ways. I have always been heavily involved in an array of artistic avenues. I come from a mixed background, and was adopted at the age of 5. I view the piece I’ve created as my tribute to the meshing between man and society. I've tried to convey the transition of man from human form slowly being integrated into the form of materialistic product that the city has transformed him into.
Carrielynn Victor, age 26
Carrielynn is always learning, loving, sharing, growing, laughing, crying, creating, hugging, cooking, and travelling. She is also active with volunteer work in Sto:lo and Vancouver city urban communities. She enjoys painting acrylic on canvas, as well as creating music by writing, recording, singing and performing.
Mathew McNeill, age 29
Moon and Sky
Mathew McNeill is 29 years old, and belongs to the Shuswap Nation. Born and raised in Nakusp BC, he has now been living in Vancouver for 15 years. He practices animation and web design. Mathew painted Moon and Sky as a fractal-based representation of global warming and social disintegration. This is his first time working with the medium of acrylic on canvas.
Anastasia Paul, age 17
Anastasia Paul is Mt. Curry Okanagan/Interior Salish, and Tsartlip/Coast Salish. She is an "Urban Res Native Youth," Raised on and off Musqueam reserve. She is the third oldest of five siblings and many foster brothers and sisters her family has taken into its warm home. She has been raised in an open creative environment. Pow Wow, long house and other traditional ceremonies are a huge part of her life and identity.
She is currently in high school and plans to graduate and continue her post-secondary education. She has no professional training in the arts. This is Anna's first painting. She enjoys its simplistic and clean design. The painting is a recreation of the fish bone design, and she feels very grateful to have learned this design. The fish bone design means more than words to her because its been used by her ancestors throughout history in the form of weaving. Anastasia practices knitting, weaving from raw wool, sewing, beading, dancing, and singing.
Andrew Mark Dexel – Enpaauk, age 26
Grand Mother Moon and the Thunder Mantra
Andrew is a young artist from the Nlakapamux Nation. His paintings mix the style of graffiti with Coast Salish design, creating figurative and abstract images that speak to resistance and renewal. His beginning as a graffiti artist is central to his style and since his switch from walls to canvas three years ago he has brought this energy from the streets into his paintings.
Andrew’s work was featured in the Kamloops Art Gallery's exhibition Shazam earlier this year. His work is also featured at the Native Winds Gallery in Honolulu and has been published in Blood Lines Magazine.
“My work relates my spiritual path: my journey. I express the inspiration lovingly given to me through teachings and stories from my elders and mentors. My work embodies the powerful visions that I have been given through these teachings. I am grateful. My work is a modern expression embodying the symbolic abstract inspired by my home: Coast Salish Territory.
Johnathan Matas, age 24
Jonathan Matas, age 24, is a muralist and activist. Jonathan's ancestors are mostly Jews from Eastern Europe. Born and raised in Seattle, based in New York, and recent graduate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Jonathan is experienced in teaching and mentoring children and youth in his art form. He feels honored to assist members of the Native Youth Artists Collective to paint new works for this exhibition. Being a mentor on this project allowed him to share the valuable skills he has acquired within his lifetime.