Art bridging cultures opens at gallery

Students from the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School will be sharing their artwork at the Penticton Art Gallery opening on Friday.

  • May. 17, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Students from the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School will be sharing their artwork with the area in an exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery opening on Friday.

While the school is a stones-throw away from Penticton, there are greater divisions between the reserve and the city than just the Parkway Channel, said Paul Crawford, curator and director of the Penticton Art Gallery.

“I would love to do something with the kids up there and just bridge that gap,” said Crawford. “I live by the channel too, and that channel is such a dividing force between them and us, and to me it’s always just boggled my mind. I’d love to find ways to build bridges between our community and their community, because it’s really just one community.”

To Crawford, this exhibition is the first step towards not building bridges, but also to evoking social change.

“They’ve got a much deeper significance to the plants and the animals and all that stuff, and I think that’s something that’s culturally ingrained within them,” said Crawford. “If we could just expand that and provide a greater insight into that world, then maybe we’d all have a greater appreciation of the landscape around us, and next time instead of ploughing over a rare ecosystem, we might look at it a little bit differently and think maybe let’s look at this how we can address land issues differently.

“I’m not expecting these kids to be the activists, but maybe the catalysts for us to look at things a little bit differently,” he added.

One such student is 10-year-old Skyler Kruger, whose picture “A view from Outma to Okanagan Lake” will be featured in the exhibition. Kruger is excited to be in the exhibition, and hopes people will like his work.

The cultural school’s teachers, as well as following standard B.C. curriculum, also teach the students their native language and Okanagan hand-drumming songs. The students also regularly take part in traditional activities such as root digging, medicine gathering and sweats.

The exhibition, opening on May 18 at 6 p.m., will be based upon the students Okanagan heritage, as well as indigenous plants and animals that are native to the Okanagan valley. As well, there will be a series of digital photographs depicting the students participating in culturally important acts of the Sqilx’w people.

Michele Woitzik, administrator of the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School, said she feels the exhibition is opening doors and creating cultural opportunities for her students.

“Both Paul (Crawford) and I hope that this is the beginning of a long-term relationship to both promote sharing of our heritage to foster a greater understanding of the Okanagan culture and to plan some project-based learning opportunities for our students.”

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read