Beautiful Salish House Post to Welcome Visitors to WV Community Centre
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
West Vancouver, BC: Four distinct faces will welcome visitors to the new West Vancouver Community Centre on the House Post Gathering of Nations, representing the multiculturalism of the North Shore, according to artist Jody Broomfield. The faces symbolize not only the world’s four ethnic groups but also the global four directions.
The piece, currently nearing completion for an anticipated installation in May at the Marine Drive entrance, will be significant in its part of the traditional Coast Salish art form’s resurrection. “This way of art almost went extinct,” says Jody, a youngster in the art form at 32 years old. While Native art has flourished in recent decades, styles of various nations have been largely hybridized and the purely Salish form was almost lost. “I found within my heart that I had to go in that direction,” says the artist who at one time was all set to enter the very modern field of animation. “I made a decision to work with my nation,” says Jody. Finding a mentor in his neighbourhood on the Xwmelch'stn, local Squamish Nation Village, Jody has pursued his art and now finds his success growing. His commissioned public art work of late includes the elegant Salmon House Post at the Touchstone Residence development on North Vancouver’s Marine Drive and the Squamish & Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, BC. He designed the logo for the Four Host First Nations, associates of the Vancouver 2010, as well as three, limited edition gold coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.
West Vancouver awarded the commission to Jody based on his proposal for another project. The public art selection committee was so impressed with his submission that when the opportunity arose for a second work for the Community Centre site, the public art steering committee chose Jody for the project unanimously.
Jody has been working on the post for ten or 12 hours per day, or “until my back gives out,” says the new dad. Jody’s log broker found the log, once a 250-year-old Cedar tree on the Sunshine Coast, after a three-month search. “It’s picture perfect,” Jody says with the pride he normally reserves for his daughter. As well as the faces, the post will feature a wave pattern representing water; a triangular pattern representing land; diamonds representing the sky; and a wing design representing the Eagle deity that holds it all together.
The Spirit Square House Post titled Gathering of Nations will be officially unveiled with an ancient Squamish cedar bough blessing ceremony on the West Vancouver Community Center site at 11:30 AM on June 6, 2009. This event will be part of the Community Day celebrations that take place each year on the first Saturday in June.
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