Public invited to meet sculptor

Luke Marston will be at Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery on Saturday.

Luke Marston will be on hand Saturday at the Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery.

Luke Marston will be on hand Saturday at the Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery.

The public is invited to meet Luke Marston after his sold-out lecture at North Island College on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 3-5 p.m. at Spirits of the West Coast Native Art Gallery, 2926 Back Rd., between Comox and East Courtenay.

Marston is the guest lecturer in the ElderCollege series, From Inheritance to Intuition: 7 Contemporary Northwest Coast First Nations artists. His lecture is dubbed, From Shore to Shore — Cultural Ancestry in Wood and Bronze.

Marston is inspired by the legacy of his Coast Salish and Portuguese ancestors — a legacy made visible in a monumental sculpture newly dedicated in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. This sculpture and other iconic works reveal his ability to balance traditional and contemporary Coast Salish art. A cultural ambassador for Northwest Coast art, he has a national and international following that takes him from shore to shore.

Marston (Ts’uts’umutl) was born in 1976 to carvers Jane and David Marston. Learning from Coast Salish artist Simon Charlie and then working for five years at Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, alongside Jonathan Henderson, Sean Whannock, Sean Karpes and his brother, John Marston, Luke has exhibited in Canada, the U.S. and Japan. He has had major commissions from the Canadian government, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Lieutenant Governor of B.C. and the Vancouver Airport. The book by award-winning author Susan Fournier — Shore to Shore, The art of Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston — was recently released to coincide with the installation of his 14-foot bronze sculpture, Shore to Shore, in Stanley Park’s northeast, overlooking downtown.

The sculpture, surrounded by engraved Portuguese stone, stands at the site of his family’s ancestral village site X̲wáýx̲way, and celebrates Portuguese adventurer Joe Silvey (Portuguese Joe) as well as Silvey’s first and second Coast Salish wives, Khaltinaht and Kwatleemaat. Marston is the great-great-grandson of Portuguese Joe and Kwatleemaat. Silvey was born and raised on Portugal’s Atlantic Azores Islands, and after several adventures, found himself on the Pacific, an early pioneer of Vancouver’s Gastown. The sculpture honours the link between Portuguese and Coast Salish First Nations cultures, marks the land’s rich heritage, and symbolizes unity for the Vancouver’s present-day cultural diversity.

Marston’s work is becoming extremely collectible. Many regard him as one of the most influential Coast Salish Artists today. You might have seen his work featured a few months ago in the Comox Valley Art Gallery exhibition: Record (Re)Create: Contemporary Coast Salish Art from the Salish Weave Collection.