Four First Nations artists from Whitehorse have been selected as recipients of YVR Art Foundation’s 2023 art scholarship awards.
Each artist will receive $5,000 to complete a proposed project over the next year.
The honoured artists are Dustin Sheldon and Olivia Cox, both from the Teslin Tlingit Council, and Eila Vallevand and Karra MacIntosh, both from the Kwanlin Dun First Nation. The seven other recipients all hail from British Columbia.
A panel of established Indigenous creatives and curators chose the foundation’s 2023 scholarship winners across two categories: emerging and mid-career artists.
To be considered for the emerging artist scholarship, creatives aged 17 to 29 must propose an art piece they will create over a 12-month period. Selected artists can use the scholarship funds to work alongside an artist mentor or attend an art school while completing their projects.
Artists aged 30 and above can apply for the mid-career artist scholarship to attend art school for a year, tackle a community project or learn from a master artist.
All of the scholarship recipients from Whitehorse were chosen for the emerging artist category.
“We are pleased to be able to support the artistic and professional development of recipients representing a wide range of emerging and mid-career Indigenous artists from across B.C. and Yukon, and to provide this opportunity to pursue art mentorships, education and community projects,” YVR Art Foundation executive director Elisabeth Kyle said in a media release.
The artworks created by the foundation’s 2023 scholarship recipients will be displayed at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for one year.
“For the Yukon recipients, once they finish their scholarship artwork, they will be shipping it back to YVR by May 2024,” Rachelle Tjahyana, program and administrative coordinator at YVR Art Foundation, told the News.
“They will be presenting those finished artworks at the 2024 awards ceremony, and by that time, [their art] will also be going into the display cases and exhibiting for the 2024-25 term at the terminal.”
Founded by YVR in 1993, the YVR Art Foundation initially focused on acquiring Indigenous art for display at the airport. However, since the mid-2000s, it has redirected its attention to supporting B.C. and Yukon First Nations through scholarships, grants, and career-advancement opportunities.
According to the press release, since 2005, the foundation has handed out more than 200 scholarships, grants and other awards totalling over $750,000.
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