Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl)

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Kesu': The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer
Authors:
Jennifer Kramer
Format: Paperback

Fully illustrated and engagingly written, K'esu' is the first book to honour this Kwakwaka'wakw artist's ground-breaking work Northwest Coast.

Kwakwaka'wakw art is renowned for its flamboyant, energetic and colourful carving and painting. Among the leading practitioners was Doug Cranmer, whose style was understated, elegant and fresh and whose work quickly found an international following in the 1960s. He was an early player in the global commercial art market and one of the first Native artists in British Columbia to own his own gallery.

A long-time teacher, he inspired generations of young Native artists in Alert Bay, British Columbia, and across the province. To date, however, his considerable contributions have gone largely unrecognized. This beautifully illustrated book is a record of the art, life and influence of a man who embodied "indigenous modern" before the term had been coined but preferred the descriptor "whittler" or "doodler" to "Kwakwaka'wakw artist."

Skillfully weaving excerpts from his friends and family, facts about his life and examples of his stunning artwork, K'esu' captures the artist's personality and his paradoxes in this wide-ranging celebration of Cranmer, his oeuvre and his profound influence on generations of Kwakwaka'wakw artists.

Authentic Canadian Content
$29.95

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Sonny Assu: A Selective History
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.

Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting more than 120 full-colour works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.

Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Richard Van Camp, Marianne Nicolson, Candice Hopkins, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humour, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the Canadian contemporary art world.

Reviews
"Educators and students will find numerous access points and opportunities to examine our nation's beliefs, actions, words, and legislation. [This book] also invites readers to knowledgeably and compassionately consider how we can reconcile all that has been with all that can be"—Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Framed by contributions from some of our brightest Indigenous intellectuals, Sonny Assu’s canvas is more than an examination of how Indigenous Peoples respond to the Canadian experience. His witty and gentle hand offers Canada a mirror to consider its own scarred identity."—Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

“This brilliant book not only provides readers with an overview of the career of one of Canada’s most important artists but also links his development to the contemporary creative practices of First Nations artists in BC politics and history—the intersection of stories with visual expression. All this unveils historical truths and artistic insights that elevate Sonny Assu to greatness." —Dr. Ron Burnett, Order of Canada, Order of BC. President and vice-chancellor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 9-12 for these subjects: Art Education, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
224 pages | 8.50" x 10.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$34.95

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Stars
Artists:
Michael Joyal
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this second installation of the Overhead Series, Lucy Haché once again transports the reader with intimate revelations on identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the sky and stars. Hache's prose is extraordinary in its combination of self-awareness yet unselfconscious honesty and skillful restraint, creating a sense of connection under the vastness of the stars above. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his evocative astronomic drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.

Reviews
"[Hache] uses the stars to remember not only the tribulations of the past - Residential Schools and the loss of her traditional village - but also to remember the happiness of her grandmothers and to remember her language. Her poetic prose if full of imagery so rich that the reader can feel swept away with the power of the language." - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Indigenous People have always had a strong relationship with the sky. Here, Joyal's stark, beautiful illustrations combine perfectly with Haché's voice as she sings a story of loss, and ultimately, reclamation." --David A. Robertson, author of When We Were Alone (winner 2017 Governor General's Literary Award) and Strangers

Educator & Series Information
Recommended resource for Grades 8-12 for these subject areas: English Language Arts. 

A Kwak'wala language glossary is found at the back of the book.

This book is part of the Overhead Series.

Additional Information
80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Yakuglas' Legacy
Authors:
Ronald W. Hawker
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Charlie James (1867–1937) was a premier carver and painter from the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation of British Columbia. Also known by his ceremonial name Yakuglas, he was a prolific artist and activist during a period of severe oppression for First Nations people in Canada.

Yakuglas’ Legacy examines the life of Charlie James. During the early part of his career James created works primarily for ritual use within Kwakwaka'wakw society. However, in the 1920s, his art found a broader audience as he produced more miniatures and paintings. Through a balanced reading of the historical period and James’ artistic production, Ronald W. Hawker argues that James’ shift to contemporary art forms allowed the artist to make a critical statement about the vitality of Kwakwaka'wakw culture. Yakuglas’ Legacy, aided by the inclusion of 123 colour illustrations, is at once a beautiful and poignant book about the impact of the Canadian project on Aboriginal people and their artistic response.

Authentic Canadian Content
$34.95

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