DEBRA SPARROW now in residence

Posted on Apr 7, 2022 in Events

Debra Sparrow is the final artist in residence from the Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore program at the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency. She takes up residency today and will be at the cabin from the 3rd of April until the 21st of May, 2022.

As part of this residency, on the 10th of April, folks can join Debra Sparrow in Conversation with Susan Rowley, Director of the Museum of Anthropology for an afternoon of conversation. Rowley and Sparrow will speak to the history of Coast Salish weaving, its cultural importance as well as the various methods of preserving textiles and artifacts. They will also talk about two woven blankets in particular, which Susan will be bringing along. Debra will introduce her practice as well as share a short film titled Weaving the Path.

Debra Sparrow was born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve and is self-taught in Salish design and jewelry-making. Her contemporary work combines textile and Salish design into geometric, hand-spun blankets and hangings and can be seen in various museums and institutions, including the Vancouver Airport, Museum of Civilizations in Ottawa, and the University of British Columbia. Debra designed the logo for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. She also continues to work on pieces close to her heart at her home in Musqueam. It is Debra’s hope to educate others about the beauty and integrity of her people’s history through her art. Debra is a highly accomplished weaver, and for over 20 years has played a pivotal role in the ongoing revival of Musqueam weaving.

I never felt like I was learning to be an artist, I felt like I was being taught about who we were. And I started to realize how much we were missing in our community and in our soul, how much we were missing with the assimilation process. And there needed to be a gap closed; I needed to connect with our people.

Debra Sparrow (courtesy of Storyhive: Woven Together)


Top Row: Woven pieces and studio documentation from Debra’s studio, courtesy of the artist’s Instagram page: @qwasen

Middle Row: Portrait of Debra Sparrow (left), BC Place alight with weave-inspired lighting designs by Debra Sparrow. Image courtesy of @mountpleasanttoday’s Instagram account. This light installation is part of Vancouver Mural Festival’s Winter Arts Festival, Blanketing the City: Lighting the Way from February 2022. (middle), Mural by Debra Sparrow that can be found on Granville Island photo via: @gcauchtochtones Instagram. (right)

Bottom Row: Installation views of Blanketing the city: Cathedral Park Square comes to Life with mural designs by Debra Sparrow, Chief Janice George and Angela George. Images courtesy of Vancouver Mural Festival. (left and right). Portrait of Debra Sparrow working on a weaving courtesy of the artist’s Instagram page. (middle)

Portrait of Debra Sparrow featured image on the main events page via VB.