People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point
Susan Point’s unique artworks have been credited with almost single-handedly reviving the traditional Coast Salish art style. Once nearly lost to the effects of colonization, the crescents, wedges, and human and animal forms characteristic of the art of Indigenous peoples living around the Salish Sea can now be seen around the world, reinvigorated with modern materials and techniques, in her serigraphs and public art installations―and in the works of a new generation of artists that she’s inspired.
People Among the People beautifully displays the breadth of Susan Point’s public art, from cast-iron manhole covers to massive carved cedar spindle whorls, installed in locations from Vancouver to Zurich. Through extensive interviews and access to her archives, Robert D. Watt tells the story of each piece, whether it’s the evolution from sketch to carving to casting, or the significance of the images and symbolism, which is informed by surviving traditional Salish works Point has studied and the Oral Traditions of her Musqueam family and elders.
In her long quest to re-establish a Coast Salish footprint in Southwest British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the US, Point has received many honours, including the Order of Canada and the Audain Lifetime Achievement Award. This gorgeous and illuminating book makes it clear they are all richly deserved.
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