Anyone who managed to buy a piece of artwork from rising Indigenous artist Jade Hanuse during her first show at the Art House Gallery this month, likely considers themselves very lucky.
Presented by the Bella Coola Valley Arts Council (BCVAC), the art show opened May 7 much to the excitement of residents who lined up, socially distanced, to take in her work.
“The show is going really well. Not only has there been quite a lot of interest in her art, but she has sold almost all of the works that were for sale which is amazing,” said Ida Ericksen, vice-president of BCVAC, noting most of the artwork was sold within the first few hours.
“People who bought her work felt honoured to own it.”
Hanuse told Coast Mountain News she has been apart of student exhibitions during her time in art school but it feels good to have been able to have this latest art show at a young age and early time in her career and be able to call it her own.
“The support that I received for the work I am doing is inspiring to continue on this path for our future generations to come,” she said.
Hanuse descends from the Nuxalk and Kwakwaka’wakw Nations and was raised back and forth from Bella Coola to Port Hardy.
“Growing up in two different cultures I was able to find art and connect early on in my life with many great mentors guiding me through the colonial world and always brought me back to my roots,” notes her biography.
In April 2020 Hanuse successfully completed her First Nations Fine Arts diploma at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, B.C., “following the path of many Nuxalkmc artists before me,” she wrote.
Hanuse has also received the YVR Emerging Artist grant to work alongside master carver Dempsey Bob and has completed many other opportunities.
Hanuse noted she has now started her Nusts’kmc (carpenter) training with her mentor Snxakila, who is teaching her their smayustas (stories), their Stl’cw (code of ethics), sxayaxw (the protocols) and stimulating her mind with thousands of photos of their ancestors’ creations now held in museums.
“To be successful in the art you must know where it came from, why it was used or who’s family it originates from. The language and smayusta (story) is important, without them there is no art,” Hanuse wrote.
“I am thankful for my mentors, and the path that our great, great, great, great grandparents left for us to thrive.”
Ericksen said BCVAC is honoured to present Hanuse’s artwork throughout the month of May.
“Her work has a presence to it, feminine but powerful. One person (at the show) said that they felt overwhelming peace walking around the gallery looking at her work.”
The show runs until May 29, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.