Susan Point and Thomas Cannell to Create Public Art to Enhance Johnson Street Parkade

On August 20, 2015, City Council selected a Vancouver-based, mother and son Musqueam First Nation artist team, Susan Point and Thomas Cannell, for their Woven Together proposal to create contemporary First Nations artwork to enhance the exterior of the Johnson Street Parkade. The artwork will be installed in April.

Woven Together will consist of colourful, powder-coated aluminum circular forms that are often used in Coast Salish art to represent the cycle of life, but also the traditional weaving spindle whorl and transportation. Colour will play a significant role in symbolizing cultures and different beliefs around the world all coming together to complete the circle. The centre will be made up of four eye motifs that create four butterfly images symbolizing the ability to accept change, metamorphosis, and the beauty of nature. The number four is important within First Nations culture as it represents the four winds, seasons, directions, elements, moons and peoples.

About the Artist Team

Susan Point and Thomas Cannell are professional artists with more than 40 years’ experience combined. For the past three decades, Point has been instrumental in re-establishing Coast Salish art in Canada and the United States. She has completed public art commissions throughout the world, including a commission by the Government of Canada at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and Flight, a 16-foot diameter, red-cedar spindle whorl with carved images that depicts the theme of flight, commissioned by the Vancouver International Airport. Point holds an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and is an appointed officer of the Order of Canada.

Thomas Cannell began his calling as a young apprentice carver more than 10 years ago and has collaborated with Point on several large scale public artworks in many different mediums. Cannell has also produced a number of limited edition prints. He engages his audience with a new style of Coast Salish art. His public art pieces at Terra Nova Park in Richmond, B.C. and at Spirit Square in Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, B.C., feature his distinct style of strong, simple form lines creating imagery that is new to Coast Salish art. A graduate of Capilano University, in 2014 Thomas’ significant role in the creative life of British Columbia was recognized with a British Columbia Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art.

About the Process

Woven Together was one of 110 proposals the City received in response to a national Call to Artists to create new public artwork to beautify Johnson Street Parkade. Enhancing City parkades to make them more welcoming was identified during consultation last year with the Victoria Youth Council as a way to improve the parking experience downtown.

The national art competition followed the City’s Art in Public Places Policy and was juried by a selection panel of seven individuals, comprised of visual art instructors, an urban design professional, local artists, a business owner, and a member of the Victoria Youth Council.

The budget for the completed artwork is $125,000, which will cover the design, production, installation and administrative costs, and is funded by the City’s Art in Public Places Reserve Fund.

Learn more.