New traveling exhibition celebrates Indigenous art through skateboard, snowboard, and surf culture in Canada

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New traveling exhibition celebrates Indigenous art through skateboard, snowboard, and surf culture in Canada
Installation view.

VANCOUVER.- The Museum of Vancouver opened its newest feature exhibition, Boarder X. Originally exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2016, the traveling exhibition reveals skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing as vehicles that challenge conformity and status quo.

Boarder X features work by contemporary artists from Indigenous nations across Canada including Amanda Strong, Bracken Hanuse Corlett, Jordan Bennett, Meagan Musseau, Roger Crait, Steven Davies, Mark Igloliorte, Mason Mashon, Meghann O’Brien, Michael Langan and Les Ramsay. Included from the MOV collections are works by contemporary Indigenous artists K.C. Hall, Olivia George, Skokaylem Zac George, and Takeover Skateboarding as well as older works by unknown Indigenous artists.

The exhibition, which recently was recognized for outstanding achievement by the Canadian Museums Association (CMA), reflects cultural, political, environmental, and social perspectives related to the landscapes and territories we occupy. Examining contested spaces, political borders, hybrid identities, and traditional lands, the artwork draws parallels to urban areas prohibiting skateboarding, ski runs unwelcome to snowboarders, and surfers’ constant search for uncrowded waves.

Boarder X also showcases how art can be inclusive and transformative, by bridging the present – the passion that many Indigenous youth have for skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding – with the past, which weaves together paintings, carvings, photography, video and textiles that shine a spotlight on cultural, political, and environmental issues.

Sharon Fortney, Curator of Indigenous Culture and Engagement, Museum of Vancouver said, “A museum needs people to be relevant. The Boarder X exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity for MOV to connect with Indigenous, and other youth, within the city of Vancouver. We were so pleased to have the opportunity to include a mini half pipe in the gallery space, where we can use it year-round for community engagement and add another level of animation to the gallery space.”

Jaime Isaac, Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria said, “Boarder X has created a space for active engagement through art, culture, and boarding in venues on a coast to coast tour across Turtle Island. The interdisciplinary art produced embodies how the artists relate to the environment and cultural landscapes. Working with local skateboarding, youth and art communities, the artists and Vans as a sponsor has been an amazing experience.”

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