Community Futures is calling for local native artists and craftsmen to be part of its latest catalogue of aboriginal artisans.
The catalogue lists native artists and craftsmen from throughout the service area for the Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations (CFDC of CIFN) office. That area covers First Nations bands as far west as the Lillooet area, east to Salmon Arm, north to Clinton, as far south as Merritt, and everything in between.
The office, unlike other branches of Community Futures, serves only aboriginal people in its service area.
“We want to give our artists the opportunities they deserve,” says Geri Collins, operations director for CFDC of CIFN.
“We value all aboriginal artisans. From the woodcarvers to the filmmakers—all are welcome to submit.”
The agency is looking for submissions for the fourth edition of the catalogue.
The most recent edition featured one participant on each page. In addition to a photo of the artisan and contact information, each catalogue entry includes biographies, an artist’s statement, and examples of the participant’s work.
Numerous artisans in the last catalogue hail from traditional Nlaka’pamux territory. Among the local participants are jeweller Opie Oppenheim, weaver Shannon Kilroy, and painter Leonard George Jr.
“I am concerned with using materials that are safe for me and also materials that do not pollute Mother Earth,” says George.
“I tend to work in acrylic medium on canvas, or any surface that is like canvas. If possible, I use natural pigments, such as sand, wood, and dirt. Mother Earth is my first priority in any art piece that I do.”
Traditional and contemporary artisans are encouraged to participate in the catalogue.
There is no charge to submit an entry, but anyone interested must contact CFDC of CIFN soon since the agency plans to go to press with the catalogue in mid-June.
The First Nations Technology Council, Regional Economic Development Initiative, and CFDC of CIFN co-operated to provide the funding for the catalogue.
Anyone looking for more information can contact the office’s communications officer, Joseph Jack, at 250-828-9753.