Rooted in the Land: Beadwork as an Expression of Sovereignty

Rooted in the Land: Beadwork as an Expression of Sovereignty

23 May
  • [PAST] May 23rd, 2024
  • 7-9pm
  • 1414 Argyle Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7T 1C2, Canada West Vancouver
  • Talk

Women Artists: A Lecture Series in the gallery featuring professors from Capilano University

Contemporary Indigenous bead artists express powerful matrilineal legacies of beauty and resilience that are rooted in ancient worldviews. This talk explores how Tlingit artists, using various materials, honor historical beading methods. These practices symbolize cultural perseverance and ties to the land, despite efforts to control and assimilate Indigenous peoples through laws and institutions.

Dr. Megan Smetzer, Ph.D, Art History instructor at Capilano University, is an art historian who researches the circulation of Indigenous cultural belongings within and between Indigenous and settler communities along the Northwest Coast and beyond. She teaches, publishes, and lectures on historical and contemporary Indigenous cultural expressions, focusing primarily on work made by women.

Smetzer is deeply grateful to the Tlingit artists and elders from Lingít Aaní (currently known as Southeast Alaska) who have generously shared their knowledge and perspectives over many years. These relationships have contributed to her recent book Painful Beauty: Tlingit Women, Beadwork, and the Art of Resilience, the first to be written on this topic.

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