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Date: March 10, 2000

Art, Songs and Dance Reflect Artist's Life

First Nations artist and UVic graduate Francis Dick will share her family traditions and her creativity during a retrospective of her art at the Maltwood Art Gallery and Museum, opening March 15, and at a special cultural evening at the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium on April 3. Both events are part of UVic's Millennium Festival.

Dick graduated with a degree in social work but decided soon after to devote herself full-time to her art. Growing up in the small village of Gwa'yi, also known as Kingcome Inlet, the Kwakwaka'wakw artist absorbed much of the traditional teachings of her elders who are descendents of the wolf Kawadelakala. The image of this mythical being is prominent in much of Dick's art. Her works also document her own family's history and political struggles within her nation as it evolves and its members redefine themselves.

The special cultural evening, Nax'wida gyax xux (Let There Be Light) will highlight the legend of the Atlakima that tells the story of the many different characteristics, personalities, and peculiarities of the human spirit. It speaks to Dick's ancestors' encounters with both the mortal and spirit worlds. Performers from Dick's family will tell the story through songs and dance.

"This is part of the treasures that belong to my family," says Dick. "It's a depiction of a boy's dream and the characters in the dream come alive and become part of a learning adventure. Only members of my family can perform these songs and dances."

The retrospective includes Dick's first published serigraph print (1986) and various prints and paintings completed throughout the past 14 years. Her work speaks to the significant events in her life, both tragic and joyful, and reflects her personal struggles in transforming herself within society and within her family.


Francis Dick: A Retrospective
15 March to 5 April, Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery,

Nax'wida gyax xux (Let There Be Light)--A Cultural Evening
3 April 8 p.m.
University Centre Farquhar Auditorium
Tickets: $10/$18 Call 386-6121.

Media contacts:
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 721-7656.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)