City celebrates Indigenous History Month with public art launch
Platforms: Nine Places for Seeing highlights local Indigenous Artists
The City of Vancouver Public Art Program is excited to launch its new Platforms program, Nine Places for Seeing.
For the first time in the history of the Platforms program, the City is exclusively commissioning 21 local Indigenous artists to create temporary artwork installations throughout Vancouver. Artworks will be installed on a rolling basis between 2023 and 2025.
"We're really excited to see the launch of 'Platforms: Nine Places for Seeing.' This art program celebrates Indigenous History Month and the incredible talent of local Indigenous artists," said Mayor Ken Sim. "Showcasing Indigenous art throughout Vancouver is one way we can honour the deep history and cultures that have been part of this land long before there was a city here."
Launched in 2010 by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program, the award-winning Platforms initiative uses citywide infrastructure - from civic buildings to billboards and digital screens - as temporary canvases for two-dimensional art installations. Commissioning new artworks for places in the city with thousands of passersby encourages public engagement with art and creates high visibility for local artists.
“I’m really glad that the City acknowledged the leadership of Indigenous mentors in this project; they have so much connection and knowledge in the community,” said Aaron Nelson-Moody, participating artist.
For this iteration of Platforms, three Indigenous advisors from xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations connected with Indigenous artists whose work they found compelling and appropriate for this opportunity. The City offered Artists the chance to convey their proposals orally, promoting a more inclusive and robust understanding of their concepts.
The new commissioning process successfully engaged a diverse group of Indigenous artists, including 15 Coast Salish artists, with 11 holding lineages from xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh or səlilwətaɬ Nations. The remaining participants are Urban Indigenous with roots in northern BC and eastern Nations. Their work will touch on profound personal themes for each artist such as intercultural histories, joy, transformation, intergenerational trauma and origin stories.
In line with our commitment to supporting the local arts community, all commissioned artists for this project will receive professional rates. This is part of our ongoing effort to ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their work.
For more information on the Platforms program and upcoming installations, please visit www.vancouver.ca/platforms