Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North Island College’s Comox Valley campus on Friday, March 29.

Yahgulanaas’s career spans decades and bridges the worlds of art, writing, political communication and cross-cultural engagement. His upcoming appearance is thanks to a collaboration between NIC’s Write Here Readers’ Series and Artist Talk Series.

Yahgulanaas created the art form “Haida Manga,” which combines Haida and Asian artistic influences. This technique was showcased in the national bestseller RED: A Haida Manga. The work for RED included a five-metre-long mural, depicting the tragic story of Red, who is searching for his sister Jaada after she is captured by pirates.

Yahgulanaas’s visual practice encompasses a variety of forms including watercolours, acrylics, mixed media sculptures, re-purposed automobile parts and illustrated publications. His work can be found across the globe, including the British Museum, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery.

He is the only living artist of North American Indigenous heritage to be displayed in the Modern and Contemporary department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his exhibition was recently extended until December 2019.

Along with his art and writing, Yahgulanaas has 20 years of political experience in the council of the Haida Nation. He is celebrated for his ability to create and implement progressive structures and processes.

“Michael’s work is about empowerment through expression and we’re honoured to have him as our guest,” said Artist Talk co-ordinator and Fine Art & Design department chair Sara Vipond.

Nick van Orden, NIC English instructor and co-ordinator of the Write Here Readers’ Series, said hosting Yahgulanaas was a unique opportunity to showcase how literature and art connect.

“I had the privilege of including Michael’s work RED in one of our English classes last year,” said van Orden. “It is so exciting to be able to welcome him to NIC to discuss his work with students and the public.”

Yahgulanaas speaks from 7-9 p.m. at the Stan Hagen Theatre at NIC’s Comox Valley campus. Admission is free and all are welcome.

For more information, visit www.nic.bc.ca

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