This is the second of an ongoing series of exhibition which are designed to explore the rich cultural legacy of Penticton’s En’owkin Center through the artwork created by the distinguished staff and alumni who have passed through this unique cultural facility. The En’owkin believes that the embodiment of a successful teacher and mentor is to lead by example and with dignity to help carry on the wishes, hopes, and dreams of the ancestors.
The En’owkins growing list of instructors, past staff, and alumni are Embodying Legacy for En’owkin and their Aboriginal communities throughout Canada and the Okanagan territory showcasing the enduring presence of Aboriginal art in the local communities here in the Okanagan. Everyone who has since passed through the En’owkin’s doors has become an important cultural ambassador not only for their communities but for us as a nation as we collectively move forward and into the future. This year’s participating artists include: Mariel Belanger, Lee Claremont, Levi Gorge, Kym Gouchie, Michelle Jack, Dean Louis and Barb Marchand.
The En’Owkin Centre is an Indigenous cultural, educational and creative arts institution located in Syilx territory on the Penticton Indian Reserve just off Green Mountain Road. The Centre is comprised of highly qualified educators who are also professional artists and writers, facilitators and Indigenous advocates. The En’Owkin Centre provides a culturally sensitive learning environment in a nurturing and challenging atmosphere offering its students the opportunity to receive their university/college transfer diplomas along with a wide range of certificate programs.
The En’Owkin Centre is a dynamic institution, which puts forth into practice the principles of self-determination and the validation of cultural aspirations and identity. An Indigenous cultural, educational, ecological and creative arts organization, the En’Owkin Centre is taking a lead role in the development and implementation of Indigenous knowledge systems, both at the community and international levels.
The word En’Owkin is an Okanagan conceptual metaphor, which describes a process of clarification, conflict resolution and group commitment. We focus on coming to the best solutions possible, through respectful dialogue literally through consensus.
The National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training Program (NAPAT) brings together professional Indigenous artists from across Canada to work as mentors to help emerging artists rediscover their heritage and find their creative voice helping a new generation of indigenous artists find their path to a professional career in the arts. This authentic Indigenous Exhibition will provide a unique look inside this unique creative hub where traditional art forms are rediscovered, re-examined and reinterpreted through each of the exhibiting artists individual art practice.
The staff and students extend an invitation for you to come and discover for yourself the incredible wealth of talent housed at the En’Owkin Centre and see how these emerging and professional artists interpret traditional forms of authentic art in today’s contemporary context. This exhibition highlights this rich history and the importance of the En’Owkin cultural experience bringing together a wide range of age groups from all walks of life and diverse Aboriginal communities from across Canada. This exciting cultural exchange facilitates sharing of learning experiences between students and instructors through living in a changing cultural community.
“As Art and Performance instructors at En’Owkin we get to experience working with all age groups of adults, from all walks of life, from many different Aboriginal communities across Canada. We get to have creative cultural exchanges with excited and energetic individuals that help share and give to one another; a flow of learning experiences between students and instructors that is a living changing cultural community.”
This exhibition is the second such series of exhibitions, which will explore the incredible culture and diversity embodied by the En’Owkin and its inspired faculty. A special debt of thanks is due to all the participating artists and their mentors; Mariel Belanger; Tracey Bonneau; Phyllis Isaac and Dr. Michelle Jack. Without whose trust, belief and support this event would not have been possible. Thanks also to A. Michael Bezener, Richard Armstrong and Dr. Jeannette Armstrong for their continued and ongoing support to help us build this important bridge between our communities.