“The Rivers that Connect Us,” by K’wy’i’y’e Spring Salmon Studio, will stand 16 feet tall. (City of Surrey)

‘Celebratory’ sculpture to welcome newcomers at Museum of Surrey

‘The Rivers that Connect Us,’ a $180,000 illuminated sculpture, selected for museum site

Four monumental paddles will soon stand before the Museum of Surrey in a welcoming gesture to the “diversity and inclusiveness” of newcomers.

K’wy’i’y’e Spring Salmon Studio has been commissioned to build the $180,000 illuminated sculpture as part of the Museum of Surrey expansion project.

The sculpture’s working title is “The Rivers that Connect Us,” and includes four paddles that are 16 feet tall. Those paddles will encircle a 12-foot medallion base, in a design inspired by a Coast Salish spindle whorl.

The standing paddles symbolize a traditional, respectful and welcoming gesture, and “they are intended to recognize, welcome and honour the diversity and inclusiveness of newcomers to the City of Surrey and the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples.”

The designs on the paddles incorporate the seven traditional teachings of the Coast Salish peoples: health, happiness, generations, humility, forgiveness, understanding and teaching.

The paddles will be made of aluminum and polycarbonate, and will feature both interior and exterior lighting. They will stand on the footing currently being used as a foundation for the LED sign located outside of the Museum of Surrey, along Highway 10.

The sculpture is illuminated by interior and exterior lights.
The sculpture is illuminated by interior and exterior lights.

City of Surrey

The consultation process for the project began in November 2017, when several organizations, including representatives from the Kwantlen First Nation, the Katzie First Nation, the Public Art Advisory Committee and local business groups, provided recommendations on a theme for the future sculpture.

They recommended a “celebratory sculpture that tells a story and weaves together the ancient and diverse heritages of Cloverdale,” according to a city report.

After receiving several submissions from artists and studios, a selection panel unanimously voted to recommend the K’wy’i’y’e Spring Salmon Studio for the $180,000 commission.

K’wy’i’y’e Spring Salmon Studio and Gallery is owned by a husband and wife artist team, and is based out of their home in Kwantlen First Nation in Fort Langley. Qwoy’tic’a (Phyllis) Atkins is a well-known painter and jeweler who learned from Barbara Boldt and master carver Derek Wilson. Drew Atkins was born in Victoria, and grew up watching the masters carve at the Royal History Museum’s Totem Pole Park. He later apprenticed under master carver Xwa-lack-tun (Rick Harry).

Aaron Jordan is the third collaborator for this project. He studied fine arts at Langara College, and has worked as a sculptor and carpenter within the film industry, building sets and props.

The funding for the artist’s contract comes from the Museum of Surrey expansion budget. The $180,000 represents 1.25 per cent of the total construction budget. The amount covers all costs, including design, fabrication and installation.

The work on the project is scheduled to begin in August, and to be finished before fall 2019.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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