Musqueam artist Susan Point receives lifetime achievement award


The Vancouver Art Gallery presented Susan Point with the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts during a ceremony on May 24.

Point is an Officer of the Order of Canada with Honourary Doctorates from four universities in B.C. in addition to many other accolades and awards. Her work has been exhibited in North America, Europe and Asia as well as being represented in museums throughout Canada and the U.S.

Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of BC Art presents artist Susan Point with the 2018 Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. Photo: Pardeep Singh

She asserts the vitality of Coast Salish culture through print and sculptures working with a variety of materials including glass, resin, concrete, steel, wood and paper.

Susan Point, Up Stream Quest, 2016, red cedar, acrylic paint, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund, Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery

In 2017, the Vancouver Art Gallery held an exhibition that surveyed her entire career called Susan Point: Spindle Whorl. Her work can be seen at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park and at YVR Airport. She has an exhibit called Vue Point on display at the Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby until June 2.

In a recent interview with Burnaby Now, Point talks about the importance of salmon and frogs, two animals that feature prominently in her work. “I love salmon because of the Fraser River, and that was, you know, sustenance for my people,” she says.

Point adds that frogs act as a sign of the changing seasons. “I love frogs because I remember the story my mother used to tell me, and that was how they knew when spring came, that was when the frogs started croaking.”

The Audain Prize is supported by the Audain Foundation and grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist selected by an independent jury.

Point was not the only artist to be recognized with an award that evening. Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed were co-recipients of a VIVA Award and Charlene Vickers received the second VIVA Award.

Image: (From Left to Right) Charlene Vickers, VIVA Award Recipient; Susan Point; Audain Prize Recipient; Hannah Jickling & Helen Reed, VIVA Award Co-Recipients. Photo: Pardeep Singh.

Two VIVA Awards are granted annually by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts and provide a minimum of $12,000 to mid-career B.C. artists.

Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling

Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed, SOUR VS SOUR, Photo courtesy of the Artists

Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling have been collaborating since 2006. Their projects take shape as public installations, social situations, and events that circulate as photographs, videos, printed matter, and artists’ multiples.

The have exhibited internationally and released a book last year called Multiple Elementary, which explores how contemporary art practices are received in elementary school classrooms.

Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling are recipients of the 2016 Ian Wallace Award for Teaching Excellence from Emily Carr University of Art & Design and a 2017 Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Public Art from the City of Vancouver.

Charlene Vickers

Charlene Vickers, Accumulations of Moments Spent Underwater with the Sun and Moon series (detail). Photo: Alex Gibson.

Charlene Vickers is Anishinaabe from Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation and explores her Ojibwa identity through painting, sculpture, performance and video. The VIVA Award recipient has participated in performances and exhibitions in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Amsterdam, New York and New Zealand.

Her work is  held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.