|Provenance||Private Collection, Vancouver.|
Susan Point is a celebrated First Nations Musqueam artist working in the Coast Salish tradition of her ancestors. Throughout her career, Point has worked to reestablish the integrity of Coast Salish’s distinctive stylistic and iconographic traditions within the larger context of Northwest Coast art. Much of her work utilizes Salish design elements of crescents, wedges, and v-cuts. Point is also one of the female path-breakers in Indigenous painting and carving, which has traditionally been limited to men. Her use of circular compositions symbolically represent spindle whorls which were traditionally used by women weavers.
Inspired by artists such as Bill Reid and Robert Davidson, Point belongs to the generation of Northwest Coast indigenous artists who utilized the latitude offered by the printmaking medium to expand the limits of traditional Northwest Coast formline style and produce images with a strong modernist aesthetic. Her work has a remarkable versatility and, in addition to making prints, paintings, and carvings, Point has worked in glass, bronze, and large-scale sculptural installations. For example, in 1995, Point was commissioned to create Flight and Welcome Figures, a public art installation at Vancouver International Airport.
Born in 1952, Point is a descendant of the Musqueam people and daughter of Edna Grant and Anthony Point. Susan inherited the values of her culture and traditions of her people from her mother Edna, who learned from her mother, Mary Charlie-Grant. Point’s life and art has been shaped by her family and community and the traditions which have sustained them as Salish peoples.
As a young artist, Point researched the Salish peoples and cultures but due to European contact and the arrival of missionaries, many artifacts were either destroyed or sent to museums. Because of the dearth of modern Coast Salish artwork and archaeological resources, Point developed her own style.
Point is the recipient of numerous awards. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. She has been recognized with an Inspire Achievement Award, a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, a B.C. Creative Achievement Award, and as as appointed lifetime member to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Point was selected to the International Women’s Forum, was listed one of B.C’s 100 most influential women, and was one of Vancouver’s 2012 Remarkable Women. Point has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Susan Point currently lives and works in the Musqueam First Nation, situated between southwest Vancouver and the banks of the Fraser River.