Sesyaz Saunders is the latest Nuxalk artist to receive the YVR Art Foundation Youth Artist Scholarship. He joins a long lost of talented recipients from the Nuxalk Nation that includes artists Latham Mack, Kelly Robinson and Danika Naccarella, and culturalist Clyde Tallio.
“The YVR Art Foundation is proud to recognize this extraordinary group of talented First Nations artists who have been selected as our 2016 scholarship recipients,” said Susan Jackson, Executive Director, YVR Art Foundation. “The 2016 YVR Art Foundation Scholarship recipients represent some of the best emerging and mid-career First Nations artists in British Columbia and the Yukon. We are pleased to support their vision and provide an opportunity to pursue their art education.”
YVRAF art scholarships are given annually to artists of British Columbia and Yukon First Nations ancestry in two categories: Youth (under age 27) and Mid-Career (aged 27 and up).
Selected by a jury of three senior First Nations artists and curators, the recipients receive a $5,000 scholarship to attend a formal art institution or study with a mentor over the course of one year. Mid-Career recipients work with a master artist, attend an art institution or undertake a special project.
The winners of the 2016 YVR Art Foundation Youth Artist Scholarships are: Jay Bellis, age 23, Haida/Kootenae, from Masset, Violet Gatensby, age 22, Tlingit,from Whitehorse, Jamie Nole, age 23, Tahltan/Nisga’a, from Terrace, Erik Prytula, age 24, Haida, from Kamloops, Clayton Ses Saunders, age 18, Nuxalk, from Bella Coola,Teresa Vander Meer-Chasse, age 23, White River First Nation, from Whitehorse, Asia Youngman , age 24, Cree/Carrier/Iroquois from Vancouver
In addition to the monetary award, Saunders was honoured by YVRAF in Vancouver last weekend that included the annual YVRAF Scholarship Awards Reception and a day touring Vancouver museums, galleries and art studios.
At the conclusion of the scholarship year, the recipients are brought to Vancouver again to display their art work at the Awards reception, followed by an exhibition of their work at YVR for one year. Saunders will be unveiling his carved and painted wood panel at the 2017 YVR Art Foundation Scholarship reception.