Paintings, By The Numbers Gallery
Ken Kirkby was born during an air raid in London, England in 1940. The timing may have foreshadowed the warrior-painter he was to become. He grew up in Portugal and in the late 1950s, he realized his dream to move to Canada.
He spent five years in the Canadian Arctic and promised the Inuit people that he would find a way to raise awareness of their issues in the rest of Canada. This promise became “Isumataq” – the world’s largest oil-on-canvas portrait. The 12 ft high by 152 ft long painting of the Arctic landscape was exhibited at the Canadian Parliament in 1992 and Ontario Place in 1993. Kirkby then turned his “warrior-painter” gaze on the depletion of the salmon stocks and the destruction of their habitats in B.C. rivers.
Nana Cook was born in Vancouver, B.C. and raised on Saltspring Island. She studied make-up artistry and Middle Eastern dance, and then worked in both fields prior to teaching herself to paint in 1997. Her extensive lifelong travels in the American Southwest influenced her early choice of subject matter, scenes of Arizona and New Mexico. In 2004 Cook was invited to show her Southwest paintings in the exhibit, Women’s Declaration, of contemporary visual art by Chinese and Canadian women artists in Shanghai, China. At the encouragement of Liu Jian, Chinese artist and exhibits coordinator, Cook began a project of creating one hundred and fifty large paintings of arbutus trees, which has long since been surpassed.
Since 2014 Cook has continued to paint the trees and landscapes of her island home and beyond.
Christian was born on December 11, 1969 and raised in Red Lake, Ontario. He is the youngest of Seven Children of the renowned Woodland Artist, Norval Morrisseau. He now currently lives between Thunder Bay and Keewaywin First Nation, Ontario. Christian is an accomplished artist in his own right. His love of the style of art was traditionally passed down to him by his father, Norval, who in turn learned from his grandfather, Potan. Potan was a well-known and respected traditional Shaman. Christian spent four months learning and listening to his father’s teachings and began painting in May 2002. He wanted to celebrate his gift and keep the Morrisseau’s family traditions and stories alive.
Amanda was born in England, emigrated to Canada in 1968 and lives and paints in Richmond, British Columbia. Primarily self-taught, Amanda has studied with several well respected Canadian artists. She is a senior member of the Federation of Canadian Artists with SFCA signature status. Amanda is best known for her West Coast landscapes and her distinctive impressionistic style. “ Forever changing yet always a constant in our lives, I am both humbled and energized by the landscape.”
On Saturday, September 26, forty volunteers pitched in to collect garbage at Kus-kus-sum and Hollyhock Flats as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. The photos and short video captured from the day illustrate just how industrious it was.
Project Watershed has raised over $2.9 million for Kus-kus-sum and they are closer than ever to acquiring and restoring the site to natural habitat for fish & wildlife, climate change mitigation, reconciliation and community health.
Christopher Smith of Glaskrafter Art Glass is generously donating the proceeds from a selection of his beautiful kiln glass salmon sculptures to the Kus-kus-sum project. In fact, he has already donated $1,600 to Kus-kus-sum for a sculpture bought in August.
We were finally able to hold the Paintings, By The Numbers event on Sept 12, 2020. The event raised over $25,000 for Kus-kus-sum and despite the fact that it was very different than we had planned preCOVID, it turned out to be a success.
The Kus-kus-sum project that Project Watershed is spearheading will not only create habitat for fish and wildlife, help mitigate climate, and increase green space, it will also help our community put reconciliation into action.
On June 30, the students and instructors of Toshikan Traditional Karate and Kobudo, in Courtenay, completed 108 kata (kata is a series of self-defence techniques combined in a traditional form) as fundraiser for the Kus-Kus-Sum project, in appreciation of Project Watershed’s good work for natural habitat of the valley and the estuary.
A variety of native plants, shrubs and trees will be established at Kus-kus-sum as part of the restoration process. This will not only provide food, shelter and habitat for fish and wildlife but also help mitigate climate change. Check out this video to find out more.
Project Watershed’s Kus-kus-sum project is important for supporting the broader Salish Sea Ecosystem. The project will restore habitat for fish and wildlife, attenuate flooding, and create habitat connectivity to adjacent conservation lands in the estuary. Kus-kus-sum provides habitat for mobile species, such as salmon, that utilize the broader Salish Sea ecosystem in their lives.