Public Art Collection
The University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Public Art Collection contains over 700 works of art including paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, carvings and outdoor installations by Canadian and international artists. These works educate and inspire, engage and stimulate, and enrich the campus experience for the university community, alumni, and our many visitors.
Artworks from UBCO’s Public Art Collection can be seen throughout the Kelowna and Vancouver campuses, as well as other regional public institutions as part of our exhibitions programs.
With a focus on Canadian contemporary art and the Okanagan’s emerging local artists, the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Public Art collection holds one of the largest public art collections in the region.
Sheldon Pierre Louis
As a Syilx artist I have always sought to use my art as a catalyst for discussion, to create spaces where uncomfortable issues can be brought forward into the societal dialogue to be given a voice. As an artist I always take the opportunity to use my platform as a vessel for change. For me art can be a educational tool, a conversational opening, as well as a political weapon.
The canvas highlights the times we are in, the mask speaks to the time of pandemic which in some cases has been seen as a symbol of the “oppression” society is experiencing, but here we see the indigenous woman wearing a mask and is still very much standing strong and in her power showing that the mask in this instance does not hinder her strength or resolve. The elk teeth on the red dress is a symbol of her deeply rooted and celebrated importance and worth in indigenous society. The Red Dress is a symbol for the MMIW2 movement. The feeling this canvas evokes is an unwavering sense of strength. By placing this image out into the public area of the campus and its buildings it gives voice and hopefully a sense that the issues and concerns and spirits of our women will not be silenced and will not go unnoticed. It is my hope that the women on campus will feel represented and heard, that their voices and worth will be acknowledged. For the men on campus I hope this creates space for them to have the discussions about their roles in supporting and addressing the issue of MMIW2, as well to hold other men accountable for their actions in perpetuating these actions towards our indigenous women. For the faculty it is my hopes that these types of indigenous issues will find a place in the classrooms and staff rooms and will not be kept out because of its uncomfortable and genocidal overtones, so that we can educate the young minds who are going out into the world to hopefully help push and support indigenous issues in circles that our indigenous peoples are not part of.
The Public Art Collection is located on the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, which is situated on traditional, ancestral and unceded Syilx Okanagan Nation Territory.
The Public Art Collection gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of our generous donors who have helped us build this important collection.
The collection strategy of the Public Art Collection is to preserve, display and research contemporary and historical artworks. Our collection is diverse, and contains both international and local artworks, from emerging and established artists.
You are welcome to send proposals for artwork donations to the curator. Proposals are reviewed on a semi-annual basis by the Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC).