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NWCC Freda Diesing students collaborate with UBC and Emily Carr.

February 1, 2016 - by Corey Allen

Local First Nations artists are working with the University of British Columbia in the hopes technology can help carve out a new niche for their work in the art market.

The B.C. Coast Aboriginal Doors Program is the brainchild of Chris Gaston, UBC forestry professor and university liaison at FPInnovations, and Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal program manager at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The program aims to promote Aboriginal artists and is supported by FPInnovations, a non-profit that supports scientific research and technology transfer in the Canadian forest industry.

The free program involved four weeks of intensive lessons from master carvers, held for the first time last summer, in two sessions at ECUAD and the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, B.C.

Ten artists, hailing from indigenous communities across B.C., were tasked with hand carving a 26”x70” door panel made from local red and yellow cedar, wood commonly used in Aboriginal art pieces. The panels have the potential to be used as inside or outside doors.

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