Honouring the land and looking to show support for several causes, local Nlaka’pamux artist Wyatt Collins is displaying a number of his abstract expressionist style artworks at the Nicola Valley Arts Centre gallery for the next month.
‘Our Tmixw – Celebrating the Land We Are On’ is Collins’ second show at the gallery. His first show came in 2018, when Collins was just 20 years old. The Nicola Valley Community Arts Council said Collins, who navigates the complexities of autism, has a colourful and flamboyant style in his artworks.
“I am happy to have Wyatt back in our gallery to show the art he has been working on,” said Jano Howarth, gallery curator for the NVCAC.
“Wyatt has spent time with several local artists, including Kim Vizi-Carmen and Joel Reid, with whom he has shared skills and inspirations.”
Howarth noted that Collins has had a many experiences in the last five years which have influenced his art. His latest show, running from September 14 to October 15, will highlight Collins’ paintings that honour the Tmixw, the Nlaka’pamux word meaning land, the water, and all living things. The show will includes displays of animals, water, water life, wild flowers, trees, the sky and the land.
Collins’ artworks include pieces brining attention to issues such as the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis, and the newly introduced holiday honouring reconciliation.
“This show was planned at this time of year to bring attention to this thoughtful Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, and we hope that this young artist can bring an extra focus to it in our community,” added Howarth. “This exhibit highlighting Wyatt’s artwork honouring our land is really worth a visit! Welcome back to Wyatt’s world.”
The show will include two Nlaka’pamux pictograph-inspired designs recently designed by Collins called “All Children Are Loved,” which are tributes to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Orange t-shirts and hoodies bearing the design will be available for sale.
Art cards from Collins’ current and past shows will also be available, along with stories of the artist’s process. A meet and greet with Collins is planned for September 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the gallery.
The Nicola Valley Arts Centre, located at 2051 Voght St., is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.