Copy icon

Spring Break at SJS: Honoring Indigenous Art and Culture

Spring Break at SJS: Honoring Indigenous Art and Culture

During Spring Break SJS had the privilege of hosting internationally acclaimed artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and his team of painters, including SJS art teachers Ms. Mehrer and Ms. Van Inwegen.

Yahgulanaas, a distinguished Haida artist, holds the distinction of being the only living indigenous artist from Canada to have his works collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum. His work has also been displayed in other prestigious institutions such as Berlin’s Humboldt Forum, the Seattle Art Museum as well as locally in the Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Together, they embarked on a significant project within our Atrium, focusing on a series titled the Daalkaatlii Diaries. This collection of 28 large-scale paintings, each measuring 1 x 1.5 meters, draws inspiration from a sacred spring on Haida Gwaii, reflecting Michael’s perspectives on the land and the absence of physical markers to denote sacred spaces. Through abstract interpretations, the series encapsulates the essence of human reverence for the environment and invites contemplation on the interconnectedness of culture and nature.

Upon completion, these remarkable artworks will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto for an exhibition from September 2024 to March 2025, with potential future displays in Paris and Tokyo. We eagerly anticipate further exploration of art and Haida perspectives with Yahgulanaas later this year, as we continue to foster cultural appreciation and global engagement within our school community.