Susan A. Point (PhD, RCA, OC), Coast Salish, Musqueam, b. 1952
Susan A. Point is a Coast Salish artist based on the Musqueam First Nations Reserve, Vancouver, BC. Point has immersed herself in the study of traditional Coast Salish art, through teachings from her family and through intensive research and consultation with various museums and libraries both in Canada and the U.S. Consulting with her uncle, Professor Michael Kew, at the University of British Columbia, who focused in “Coast Salish Art and Culture”, Point began her career in 1981 as an artist creating designs reflecting traditional Coast Salish images of the past in jewellery, limited edition serigraphs, and paintings.
At this time, Coast Salish art was an almost lost art form subsumed by European culture and the dominant and better-known forms of other more Northern peoples of the Northwest Coast peoples, such as the Haida. Eager to learn more about her own peoples art style, Susan chose to concentrate on the traditional designs and elements created by her ancestral artisans while applying a more contemporary aesthetic and experimentation with techniques and materials such as paper, glass, bronze, wood, concrete, polymer, stainless steel, and cast iron. Inspiring a whole new generation of Northwest Coast artists such as LessLIE, Maynard Johnny Jr., Luke Marston, and John Marston, Point is largely seen to be responsible for instigating the current renaissance in Coast Salish art and culture.
Point has been awarded a number of public art commissions in Canada and the U.S such as Cedar Connection in the Vancouver International Airport, Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the U.B.C. Museum of Anthropology, he monumental relief sculpture on the exterior of the Richmond Olympic Oval paying homage to the Fraser River as well as the First Nations as well as numerous public buildings and corporate developments paying tribute to the native peoples that once inhabited these lands. Point also has collections worldwide in various museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Point has received the Order of Canada, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, and a B.C. Creative Achievement Award. Further she has been appointed to the Royal Academy of Arts and elected to the International Women’s Forum. Point has received four Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of B.C. and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.