Terrace artist Sarah Zimmerman at the Smithers Art Gallery. (Marisca Bakker Photo)

Local Terrace artist presents The Fish Project at Smithers Art Gallery

Sarah Zimmerman’s show runs until April 4

A new exhibition at the Smithers Art Gallery is aiming to spark conversations around the importance of fish to the local community.

Sarah Zimmerman from Terrace opened her show on Friday, March 6 and turned the gallery into an underwater world with different works of salmon and oolichan.

“I come from Alberta, salmon came in a can,” she says. “It wasn’t something that I liked to eat and wasn’t part of my regular diet. I moved to Terrace 20 years ago. I was only supposed to be here for six months. I remember everyone ate salmon and I had to learn to like it. Over the years it has become a staple.

“It is one of those things that bring all cultures and backgrounds together and it is so integral to the food and ceremonies that happen in the Northwest. I really liked being able to explore the connection of fish, people, culture and art.”

For most of her pieces, she uses a twist on an old Japanese art of fish printing with a gel transfer technique. She transferred prints of oolichan and salmon that were caught locally and transferred the prints to wooden canvases.

READ MORE: CMTN’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art holds annual exhibit

Also on display near the entrance of the art gallery is an installation piece representing an oolichan drying rack. She collaborated with Gitxsan Nisga’a artist Jaimie Davis to make it.

It has two birch poles with woven cedar hanging between them with dozens of wooden oolichan cut-outs with a print on one side and silver leaf on the other hanging from it.

Davis wove 25 feet of cedar bark for the installation.

“It was really exciting for me and for her to come together,” Zimmerman says. “I’m a settler and she’s Indigenous, we both have different world views, but it was a very interesting project for us to work on together.”

She also has a series on display called Liquid Gold.

“It is a series of block prints, two-toned block prints. The bottom is gold and they are in the shape of an oolichan. The block print on top was carved by myself and Stó:lo artist Amanda Hugon who [is] based out of Terrace and a graduate of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.”

One of the pieces has a number of repeating images in gold and black but one fish is just black.

“It is important to note that the oolichan fishery is threatened,” Zimmerman says. “It is a precious resource. The whole notion that is called liquid gold indicates that it is really important as a food and ceremony to Indigenous fisheries. So having one without gold serves as a reminder that the harvest isn’t as plentiful as it once was and be mindful of that.”

This is the third time the show has been shown. It started in Terrace and then went to Wells.

The exhibition runs until April 4.

Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sarah Zimmerman shows her art. (Marisca Bakker Photo)

The Fish Project exhibition will be at the Smithers Art Gallery until April 4. (Marisca Bakker Photo)

(Marisca Bakker Photo)

Just Posted

Thornhill’s future takes centre stage at June 2 public hearing

The current community plan was adopted in 1981

Class will look different at Coast Mountain College this September

The college is embracing a distributed learning model

City council considers easing food truck restriction

Food trucks limited to four hours public parking, may increase to six hours

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read