February 6, 2018 (Terrace, BC) – Two talented artists from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art are the latest recipients of the Northwest Community College President’s Art Award. The awards were established four years ago by President Ken Burt and are intended to recognize the hard work and incredible talent of students at the school.
The $1,000 first place award was given to Roger Smith (Naad Kaa,wang), Haida, for his Chilkat Blanket piece. The intricate free-hand design is painted on wood and is embellished with wool to mimic the traditional Chilkat blanket design that was his inspiration.
“This award means a lot. I’ve worked really hard on this piece since the beginning of January and it’s a great accomplishment. I’m happy to receive the recognition,” said Smith.
Jaimie Davis (Xpiee), Gitxsan/Nisga’a, receives the $500 honourary mention award for her two-piece Nisga’a Bentwood box design on wood panels. She chose the traditional design as a nod to the ancestors and the lessons they teach us.
“This recognition is an incredible honour,” said Davis. “I believe my ancestors were watching over me as I created this piece for them. In turn, they showed me they are listening and watching us as we work hard to keep our culture alive.”
The paintings become part of the college’s permanent collection. A limited number of prints of Smith’s piece will also be produced to use as gifts.
"I am always impressed by the level of talent coming from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art," said NWCC President Ken Burt. “The pieces selected this year demonstrate a high degree of sophistication and really showcase the fine detail of the traditional art."
Sarah Zimmerman, APR
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Northwest Community College