Student displays Aboriginal artwork in Port Alberni’s Gyro Park | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Student displays Aboriginal artwork in Port Alberni’s Gyro Park

Port Alberni, BC

The artwork of three Nuu-chah-nulth students now adorns Port Albreni’s Gyro Park after an Alberni District Secondary School art class was assigned to paint garbage bins throughout the community. 

Maddexx George, Summer Little, and Madison Lucas decided the theme of their project would be Indigenous art.

“I chose the c̓ixʷatin, which is the eagle,” said George. “I chose it just [because] it's my favorite animal.”

George explained that in Nuu-chah-nulth culture, c̓ixʷatin (eagles) are spiritual animals.

“It's the closest one to the spirits,” explained the Grade 9 student. 

At the top corner of George’s artwork, he painted the four nations color wheel which represents Black, European, Asian and Native people, each occupying a quarter of the circle, showing how everyone is connected.

It took George nearly four weeks to complete his artwork from a bare garbage bin through to his completed piece in the park.

“People [in] Port Alberni can actually see native art and who made it,” said George pointing to his name at the corner of the piece. “It’s real awesome that other people can see my art.”

“I hope they see it and they know that young people still know their heritage,” said George.

Orange and red handprints embellish the front of the bin, where the students collaboratively created an “Every Child Matters” panel.

Though this is George’s first artwork displayed in public, he’s been drawing since he started his schooling.

“I always loved doodling and drawing,” said George, noting that he enjoys creating Indigenous art with sceneries of trees, mountains and animals.

Elders, aunts, and uncles have helped George learn to draw and paint along the way, he said.

For the c̓ixʷatin (eagle), George meticulously dotted paint along the thin lines of his art.

“The best way is just to slowly paint or drawing every day,” said George.

Share this: