Image above: Randall Bear Barnetson, Trinity, 2023, laser cut wood and acrylic
Randall Bear Barnetson’s new exhibition, Decolonizing the Nativity, powerfully recontextualizes the nativity story through Northwest Coast Indigenous story and imagery.
Under the guidance of Switametelót Patricia Victor, Trinity Western University Siyá:m, the department of Art + Design in partnership with the Office of the Provost are pleased to present Decolonizing the Nativity, an exhibition of digital prints by Randall Bear Barnetson on view at the SAMC Gallery until Nov. 17.
Barnetson is a multidisciplinary emerging artist of Indigenous heritage, from the village of Nadleh Whut’en, the Dakelh nation, and of the Duntem’yoo Bear clan. Through the works included in Decolonizing the Nativity, Barnetson seeks to “hold the stories and understandings of Indigenous peoples alongside the story of Jesus’ birth.” Barnetson summarizes his hope and prayer for the project that “all nations and beings may one day journey together as Creator intended.”
Exhibition dates: Sept. 12–Nov. 26, 2023
SAMC Gallery (inside Norma Marion Alloway Library)
- Artist Talk: Sept. 29, 1–3 p.m. in conjunction with TWU’s Day of Learning
- Closing Reception: Nov. 17, 7–8:30 p.m.
The exhibition and events are free and open to the public. For information about the SAMC Gallery and gallery hours, please see Visiting the SAMC Gallery.
About the Artist
Randall Bear Barnetson is a multidisciplinary artist of Indigenous heritage. Barnetson is from the village of Nadleh Whut’en, the Dakelh nation, and of the Duntem’yoo Bear clan. Bear’s artistic practice interprets contemporary issues such as mental health and wellbeing, identity, culture, and spirituality, through the framework of Northwest Coast Indigenous art forms. Bear’s art and traditional storytelling has aided in reconciliation and decolonization efforts with settler organizations in discussing Indigenous culture and heritage.
Bear was born and raised in the urban Indigenous community of Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC. Bear spent years serving alongside his parents who founded a thriving mission on the 100 block of Hastings that provided essential services to over two million members of the Downtown Eastside community. Bear’s practice is currently based on the Unceded Territories of the Musqueam Coast Salish peoples as a guest. On this territory is Vancouver’s YVR international airport, from which Bear received the Emerging Indigenous Artist Scholarship award in 2022.
About the SAMC Gallery
The SAMC gallery was founded in 2017 and is the primary exhibition space for the Department of Art + Design at Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture, located on unceded Stó:lō territory. Every year it hosts exhibitions of several professional artists and designers as well as several student exhibitions. The gallery is an important pedagogical space for the department of Art + Design, exposing students to diverse professional art practices while also serving the campus community and the wider Langley public. The gallery is located in the Norma Marion Alloway Library building, directly adjacent to the Learning Commons, positioning it as an important learning space for the entire campus community. To learn about past exhibitions, visit SAMC Gallery Exhibitions.
About Indigenous Initiatives at TWU
Here at Trinity Western, we seek to hear, understand and acknowledge our shared history with Indigenous peoples and the impact that it continues to have throughout the generations. As a global Christian university, TWU continues to foster greater knowledge and understanding of Indigenous cultures, worldview, and history among students, staff, and faculty. We do this by providing educational opportunities, engaging in community partnerships, and through caring for and supporting Indigenous students. Learn more at Indigenous Initiatives at TWU.