Haida curators travelling

  • Jul. 4, 2005 5:00 p.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Vince Collison of Old Massett has gone to Vancouver for a year and a half contract with the Vancouver Art Gallery to help plan and curate the 2006 exhibition Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art.
This will be the key summer exhibition during the gallery’s 75th anniversary celebrations and will feature 250 works brought to Vancouver from all over the world.
The show will begin with the “master carvers” Charles Edenshaw, John Cross and other 19th century artists who mastered the forms in argillite, silver and wood. It will trace the reinterpretation of form by Bill Reid and explore new directions of contemporary artists such as Robert Davidson, Rob Yeomans, Frieda Deising, Isabel Rorick and more.
Mr. Collison says he is excited to learn more about being a curator, a field he intends to continue in.
His work with the repatriation committee has definitely sparked his interest in the field, as he has been involved with different museum collections across North America.
“I’m excited to learn the tricks of the trade for the museum we will have here,” he says.
He expects his experience at the Vancouver Art Gallery will benefit him in the next step of repatriation, which is to bring Haida treasures home.
He also feels it is important to make the unique Haida voice a part of exhibits of Haida art and cultural objects.
Islanders Lucille Bell and Nika Collison are also involved in curatorial work on Haida exhibits.
Both women are working with the new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, where a northwest coast exhibition will open in January 2006. The focus of the exhibit will be on Haida song and dance.
Ms Bell says the museum is doing some positive things, such as supporting coastal nations to find funding to bring dance groups to the opening next year, as well as shifting the focus of the gallery store to offer northwest coast art and other products.

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