A Hazelton artist has been honoured with the prestigious Fulmer Award in B.C. First Nations Art.
Michelle Stoney, a Gitxsan artist, was one of five Indigenous artists announced last week by the BC Achievement Foundation (BCAF).
“It just makes me feel like I’m on the right path and doing what I’m supposed to be doing and that other people recognize me as an artist,” she said. “And it just makes me want to work even harder to make new and exciting things.”
Stoney’s contemporary take on traditional forms can be seen in public around the region, perhaps most notably, a large recently-completed mural that graces the rink area of the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton.
The award comes with $5,000, which Stoney said will pay for some jewellery-making equipment she wants to buy.
“Jewellery is one of my main mediums right now,” she said.
Stoney recently completed a jewellery program at the Native Education College in Vancouver where she won the 2018 Academic Achievement Award.
The other artists honoured this year were: Gus Cook, Namgis, Kwakwaka’wakw, Victoria; Henry Green, Tsimshian, Prince Rupert; Maynard Johnny Jr., Coast Salish/ Penelakut Tribe, Vancouver; and Doreen Manual, Neskonlith, North Vancouver.
“BC Achievement is honoured to showcase these artists whose respect for tradition directs and inspires their creative practices,” said BCAF chair Anne Giardini. “The 2019 awardees join 73 artists from the program’s past 13 years. Together, Fulmer Award alumni ensure British Columbia is a place filled with innovation and wonder.”
The recipients will have their art displayed at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver from November 18 to 21.
They will be presented with their prizes at a private ceremony on the evening of Nov. 21 at the Roundhouse.
“I’ll be taking my grandma with me, and my mom, and everybody,” Stoney said. “It’s exciting.”