The Indigenous Artist in Residence program is an opportunity for a local artist to work with the City and bring an Indigenous artistic presence to Victoria.
Over a two-year term, the selected artist collaborates with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, as well as other local artists and organizations. The residency does not have a set theme or direction. This gives the artist freedom to shape it based on their own artistic practice.
The City established the program in 2017 to honour the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Coast Salish artist Dylan Thomas (Qwul’thilum) is the City’s second Indigenous Artist in Residence. He was selected based on his skilled artistry, his dedication to understanding his culture and sharing that knowledge with others.
“I hope to use my experience as a Salish artist, my experience as an Indigenous person, and my experience as a lifelong resident of Victoria to create work that meaningfully honours the local Indigenous people—past, present, and future,” says Thomas.
Thomas’ passion for Coast Salish art started at an early age. As he developed his craft, he was mentored by established artists including the late Delmar Johnnie and Rande Cook. His practice is influenced by Vajrayana Buddhist mandalas, Celtic knots and other ancient geometric art traditions.
Thomas has received two previous public art commissions with the City of Victoria. You can see his work at City Hall as part of the Sacred multi-media art display.
Visit Thomas's website to learn more about his work.