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“In the Spirit” (detail) Charles Elliot (TEMOSEN)


ALCHERINGA ENTERS THE NEW YEAR with new ownership and an exhibit recognizing some Vancouver Island-based artists whose innovative work has made a resounding impact on the contemporary art canon of the Northwest Coast, yet who are not as well known as many other artists.

Mark Loria, a local arts and culture advocate, and his wife Mary Loria, a ceramic artist and educator, have taken over the gallery from its founder and director of 30 years, Elaine Monds, who established Alcheringa as one of the top Indigenous art galleries in the world. The Lorias are committed to supporting Northwest Coast-based artists, and Monds will help in an advisory role.

For the Vancouver Island Vanguard exhibit, artists such as TEMOSEN Charles Elliott, Delmar Johnnie Seletze’ and Mark Henderson will be a major focus alongside Beau Dick, Art Thompson, Susan (Sparrow) Point, Roy Henry Vickers, Art Vickers, Harris Smith and Pat Amos.

Of TEMOSEN, Professor Dr Robina Thomas writes: “Having been awarded the Order of British Columbia, and having international success, Coast Salish artist Charles Elliott’s (TEMOSEN) art work is like examining the old masters. However, a quick search for Charles Elliott displays minimal results at best. The tension in his elongated forms, his storytelling within the work, and the influence he continues to hold over young Salish artists is undeniable. He created the Queen’s baton used in the 1994 Commonwealth Games and a talking stick presented to Nelson Mandela.” TEMOSEN will give an artist talk at the closing event, March 2, 4-6pm.

Professor Thomas also mentions Mark Henderson (1953–2016), who “created sophisticated multi-colour silkscreen prints that have a whimsical, painterly quality to them. There is always movement, and flow, landscape and motion, form line and nature. It is pictoral in a way; he took the current style and made it approachable, recognizable, and ultimately fun.”

In all, over 30 works from the influencers of the burgeoning renaissance of Coast Salish contemporary art will be on display.

Opening on February 2, 4-6pm with smudging ceremony. 621 Fort Street, 250-383-8224, www.alcheringa-gallery.com.

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