The District of Kitimat, in collaboration with Haisla Nation Council, have announced they have selected the artists who will provide panel designs for the new Haisla Bridge.
Nathan Wilson and Paul Windsor have been selected to each provide four art pieces that depict Haisla Clans. The artwork will be installed along the length of the new Haisla Bridge, integrated with the railing system.
The project proposal called for artwork depicting the eight clans, reflecting both current clans and the memorial clans, those being the ones that have no current members. Thes current clans are the Beaver, Raven, Eagle, Salmon, and Killer Whale/Black Fish, and the memorial clans are Crow, Frog, and Wolf.
All eight of the panels will be illuminated at night through back-panel lighting.
The District worked with representatives of Haisla Nation Council to select the successful artists for this project and the chosen artists both expressed their excitement for being a part of the process.
“These designs have pushed my understanding of formline art,” said Wilson. “I am honoured that these new designs will be used to represent the Clans of the Haisla Nation.”
For Paul Windsor, he noted his deep connections with the area surrounding the Haisla Bridge as a place he spent much of his childhood, as well as the cultural significance of the area for Haisla as a place that has been used for hunting, fishing, and gathering in camps and villages.
“It is a great honour to be chosen as one of the artists,” he says. “My wassum (heart) has wings and I am grateful.”
Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth said this is an exciting phase for the Haisla Bridge Replacement Project.
“It is great to get to this stage where we can begin to see how the new bridge will add to the cultural vibrancy of the community while properly acknowledging Haisla heritage and history.”
Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith also praised the inclusion of Haisla art in the project.
“Having Haisla artists create these pieces really speaks to the respect that is being given to the Haisla Nation through this project,” says Smith. “I’m excited to see the Nation’s Clans honoured and celebrated once it’s complete.”