Tag Archives: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

PechaKucha Night Vol. 23 Vancouver

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Here are a few images from PechaKucha Night Vol. 23 which took place on September 21st, 2012 at the Vogue Theater. This edition was presented by Contemporary Art Gallery in partnership with the design firm Cause +

This highly successful evening focused on the visual arts as you can see from the list of speakers below. The presentations were very diverse, often funny and very informative. Many presented on their individual art practices while others discussed the organizations they work for. Overall it was a great evening, capturing a large audience of over 1000, and continuing to the after party, which was hosted by Contemporary Art Gallery.

We’d like to thank all the speakers:

Andrew Young • dyoung.co
Caitlin Jones • front.bc.ca
Germaine Koh • germainekoh.com
Kaput • wackytupaky.com
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun • Artist
Michelle Allen • greencouchsessions.ca
Nicole Ondre • exercisecanada.com
Shaun Dacey • accessgallery.ca, burnabyartgallery.ca
Stephen Waddell • stephenwaddell.com
Zach Gray • thezolasmusic.com

With special thanks to Cause + Affect for inviting us to participate and pulling the evening together, and we’d like to extend our warm regards to the wonderful group of volunteers who made the event possible.

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Filed under Contemporary Art Gallery, events, Off site Projects, Vancouver

Volunteers rule at the CAG

This week is National Volunteer Week and the CAG takes its hat off to our dedicated team of over 50 volunteers. We thank them for their valuable gift of expertise, amazing energy and dedication.

As Gallery Coordinator I consider myself privileged to work alongside volunteers who fulfill so many necessary roles in the organisation. It might be a surprise to some to discover the sheer diversity of their backgrounds. This has encompassed occupations ranging from students, artists, teachers, architects, librarians, marketing professionals and designers through to treaty negotiators! In recognition, I would like to share with you a series of profiles that highlight the interests, backgrounds and experiences of these dedicated individuals.

First in the series is Dan Potter:

What brought you to volunteer at the CAG?

I love contemporary art!  I think that there is nothing that can relay various life experiences and different perspectives better then art.  It really is the best storyteller.  So being an artist since the age of two, I decided to get a post secondary education in art and pursue it as a career.  That meant I was looking for “experience”, but also something fun relating to art which made me want to get involved with the CAG.

 What is your favorite thing about your volunteer position at the CAG?

I like talking with the various gallery visitors.  I have had some interesting  chats.  I also like my position in that I am the first person who people get a chance to talk to after they have seen the exhibit.

What and where was the first Contemporary Art work that you experienced?

It was at the Vancouver Art Gallery on a school field trip.  I was quite young, in early elementary school.  I remember seeing a piece hung on the gallery wall which consisted of a single straight line pointing upwards.  It must have been Barnet Newman or something else like his work.  But I remember I didn’t get it!  I couldn’t see the point for a creation of such simplicity hanging in a museum!  I guess my abstract mind was still developing.  Of course now I understand and enjoy the intricate use of meaning in all disciplines of contemporary art.

 What other creative activities do you do?

I am of course an artist in that I paint and draw with a focus on creativity and experimentation.  I compose and record various genres of music by playing several different instruments, but my main musical focus is playing the guitar.  I also write about art by including my various musings on life as they pertain to a particular art exhibition taking place around town. Check out Dan’s blog here: http://we-all-get-it-in-the-end.blogspot.com/

Thank you Dan for sharing! More profiles coming soon.

– Jill Henderson

Here are some favourite pics of our volunteers in action:

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Last weekend for Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun…

Please join us at the CAG for the last weekend of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun,  Neo-Native Drawings and Other Works. 

As a fitting ‘grand’ finish to this highly successful exhibition 2 of our Guided Visit Leader Volunteers will conduct a highly informative and well researched  guided visit of the exhibition on Sunday May 16 at 3 pm. 

We would love to see you there !  

Our regularly scheduled guided visits are free and open to all !

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cool for school: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, the young and the curious

How to explain the large numbers of guided visits for Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s exhibition? In total twelve different school groups attended alongside our usual free guided tours at the beginning and end of each exhibition: A personal best for the CAG in 2010. The answer is solidly in the work. People seem generally drawn to the hidden and unknown aspects of First Nations art. With his own “Neo-Native” style Lawrence Paul sends this curiosity into the contemporary, urban, political and onwards to the immensely compelling. For the first time in his exhibition history the CAG was able to assemble graphic works that typically originate as studies for his large-scale paintings. The end result — a steady stream of curious onlookers. With so much to learn school groups of all ages were eager to find out the clues of his work and specifically the conditions that led him away from sculpture and into the focus of more western traditions of printmaking and drawing. There they found the rewarding mixture of cartoon imagery and surrealism that is so consistent in his three decade plus career against the backdrop of cultural upheaval so prevalent in his work.

– Jerry Allen, Education Programmer

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An all around Vancouver kind of guy

Being here at the CAG during the Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Neo-Native Drawings and Other Works, I’m finding that guests and myself are wondering similar things about the show.  I’ve decided to collect these questions and look into some answers to clear them up.

How do you pronounce the artist’s name?

I wasn’t entirely sure myself. But after pronouncing it, Yuke-whale-up-ton, in front of him, he didn’t seem to mind. I suppose this is right. After saying this out loud a few times I’m sure you’ll find that it’s a far less intimidating name to tackle than you would have thought initially.

What is Neo-Native art?

Neo-Native is a term that Yuxweluptun uses to describe his style of art. To say simply, his work is a hybrid of modernism and indigenous art. It’s a contemporary form of native art, a departure from traditional aboriginal styles. Yuxweluptun approaches Coast Salish art forms with contemporary issues. An example of is this is his depiction of trees and nature; it deals with the conflicts surrounding B.C.’s rainforest and the treatment or rather mistreatment of the environment. Unlike Northwest Coast traditional style, where wood carvings would be a preliminary form, Yuxweluptun uses a copper sheet to etch the image of a solitary tree. The depictions of faces of people and animals are drawn traditionally, with a strong thick eyebrow providing the base to shape the rest of the face. However, these indigenous faces, as seen in the ovoid portraits, are paired wearing a basketball t-shirt, an oxford shirt or a clerical collar. Yuxweluptun uses his work to document and promote change in contemporary indigenous history and to excell our understanding of cultural identity and presence.


Does the exhibit contain any of his paintings?

No. Yuxweluptun is most notably known for his large scale techni-coloured acrylic paintings. But this exhibit doesn’t have any those works. However, the reason I find this exhibit especially interesting is because it contains lesser known art work, drawings that extend from 1980 to 2009. This is his first ever drawing series. Most peices are made within a grayscale colour palette. These drawings were developed by him as a note to create to his paintings, so they are essentially the preliminary stages of a painting. 

In response to the many people that have expressed to me their relationship to the artist:

This is definately sweet. It’s great to see his daughter’s teacher, neighbour or friend of a friend of a friend drop by. However, it doesn’t seem to really surprise me anymore when guests describe their 1st-2nd-3rd to 8th degree of separation from the artist because he seems to be an all around Vancouver kind of guy. Matter of fact, I’m certain I saw him walking down a Mount Pleasant street the other day. 

These and the responses/questions/comments that I’ve gathered thus far. As soon as more come up I’ll be sure to expand on this. I do want to note that along with all the other things that I discussed earlier this exhibit and his work is especially refreshing because the iconography displayed tells an interesting story but despite its heavily charged nature the images politics are not jarring. The work is aesthetically contained.

The images themselves are quite beautiful, if at least telling.

– Nafisa Kaptownwala

(CAG  volunteer)

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, 'Neo-Native drawings and other works'

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The Trees are Speaking to me, by Dan Potter

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s latest exhibit at the CAG titled NeoNative Drawings and Other Works is part retrospective as well as a look at more recent 2D creations.  On display is a selection of artwork from a range of media such as pencil drawings water colours and finished prints created from etching as well as a beautifully displayed copper etching plate used to press ink onto paper.  I was already familiar with Lawrence’s painting discipline as I have frequently viewed his work as part of various exhibits at the VAG, so I was excited to see in person how his artistic vision held up in a different format.  From what I recall, his paintings showed a healthy non-conformist at work depicting Northwest Coast Native Art with bright sometimes fluorescent colours all in the attempt to tell the story of First Nations people within the realm of Contemporary Art.

In this exhibit which is for the most presents a simplified colour palette consisting primarily of the grey scale, a dialog that consists of themes relating to Canada’s natural as well as social history develops through the eyes of the artist.  In the BC Binning Gallery within the CAG, trees take the dominant role as subject matter as they are depicted with almost portraiture like importance as though to suggest to the viewer that trees are in fact people too.  Other selections begin to set a more ominous tone, where masked supernatural characters are seen replanting trees with their big claws whilst in the background lay the killing fields with tree stumps as far as the eye can see.

I am familiar with the linking of First Nations culture with the natural world and I feel Lawrence’s personification of this bond depicted by various characters interacting closely with the natural sphere is quite refreshing.  Yuxweluptun’s approach is a lot more hard-hitting as frequently these supernatural people are shown healing the wounded elements of nature that “man” or more specifically the Canadian forestry industry has inflicted on this once pristine and innocent land.  I understand that this isn’t just some form of indictment pertaining to the modern world’s misuse of its natural resources.  It is also to show that Aboriginal people, who are considered by some including myself as the first environmentalists, lived a life style that consisted of a mutually beneficial relationship with our surrounding natural world.

It is interesting to think and see that Lawrence’s demonstration of the First Nation’s mentality with regards to the environment is what many people consider their chosen utopian relationship with the eco-system in the present day.  Yuxweluptun’s attempts at relating such things as trees directly to the First Nation spirit of living clarifies that Native people don’t necessarily worship nature but are and have been all along aware of the fact that we are “nature”.   This awareness that a tree is as much a part of you and me as it is the soil and water begins to imply throughout the exhibition that chain saws used in forestry practices are not elements of industry but murder weapons, massacring innocent and integral parts of ourselves.

Although a lot of imagery suggestive of the painful circumstances surrounding Aboriginal people’s existence is present, Lawrence’s superimposed point of view which consists of humor and a whimsical playfulness along with his marvelous mastery of illustrative techniques makes this a fun and beautiful exhibition to spend some time visiting.  Overall this exhibit demonstrates Yuxweluptun’s continued artistic growth and willingness to push not only the boundaries of subject matter with relation to contemporary art in order for it to include first people’s storytelling and iconography but also the conventions of Northwest Coast artistic traditions.  This is why he is at the forefront of Contemporary Native Art and one of Canada’s most dynamic and inspiring artists.

Dan Potter has been volunteering at the CAG since Oct 2009.

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Yuxweluptun Talk

A short excerpt of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s recent artist talk, for those of you who couldn’t be there.

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