Two Terrace artists received a YVR Art Foundation (YVRAF) scholarship awards earlier this month to develop a project for display at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for one year.
Given annually to artists of British Columbia and Yukon Indigenous ancestry, the $5,000 scholarship enables First Nation’s people to work with a mentor or school over the following year to create a project for display.
“It is with great pleasure that we are awarding the 2018 scholarships to such a well-deserving group of individuals,” said Susan Jackson, Executive Director, YVR Art Foundation. “For 13 years, winning a YVR Art Foundation scholarship has provided early recognition and support for young and mid-career artists, many of whom have gone on to thriving art careers. We are excited to encourage a new generation of artists in their creative and professional development.”
Cora-Leigh Stelmaschuk, a Tsimshian artist, won the youth scholarship for her visual art. The 25-year old had been making digital illustrations up until this year, when she learned basic form lines, painting and carving techniques during her first year in the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art (FDS) program at NWCC. Stelmaschuk said she will plan out the details of her project for the YVR Art Foundation over the summer before starting her second year at Freda Diesing in September.
“I didn’t think I would be one of the lucky recipients and I am so excited for what this opportunity is giving me,” she wrote to the Terrace Standard.
Jamie Nole, a 2017 youth scholarship recipient, was invited back to Vancouver to display her carving, Transforming Frog Child, after completing her year-long mentorship with artists Stan Bevan and Ken McNeil at FDS. This is her second time in a row winning the scholarship.
“It is truly an amazing opportunity for a young artist like myself,” Nole wrote.
A member of the Frog clan and from the Nisga’a and Tahltan Nations, Nole carved the piece meticulously out of red cedar and added copper details, using Milton, ermine and acrylic paint in its construction. The clan hat has two small painted designs on the front and back, known as salmon trout heads, which represent the boy’s caregiver watching over him, according to Nole, who is a mother herself.
“I wanted to show the never-ending work caregivers put into their children,” she wrote. “I’m almost always inspired by my son in one way or another.”
In addition toStelmaschuk and Nole, five other artists received the youth scholarship award this year. Since 2005, The YVRAF has awarded over 100 scholarships, grants and awards totalling more than $400,000 to B.C. and Yukon Indigenous artists.