The Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH) is taking on a new look, with help from an Indigenous artist.
In a public release issued on March 25, TOSH announced the installation of two new banner designs by Qualicum First Nation band member, Mathew Andreatta.
The new banner designs will adorn the entrances to the gallery and gift shop, and will be installed in the spring of 2021.
In the release, TOSH stated it was honoured to have artistic representation of the Qualicum First Nation on their traditional lands and in collaboration with the arts centre.
Working with Indigenous artists, specifically Qualicum artists, is a way to acknowledge that the facility rests on ancestral and unceded Indigenous lands and Qualicum territory. The banners represent the arts centre’s intention to continue collaborating and acknowledging this important relationship.
As a self-taught artist, Andreatta has a unique style informed by a legacy of artists and historical work while adding his own interpretation and hand to the history. He often looks to the older Salish styles which is lesser represented by many museums and galleries.
The overlapping themes of the banners include balance, which is common with most ‘Salish’ and Pacific North West Coast art forms and form-line.
Andreatta wanted to highlight the form as entering into a space of learning and creation.
The front design is representative of a knowledge holder. In considering the name and responsibilities the building itself carries, as well as the work done by those inside who hold and carry many different forms of knowledge.
The heart of the knowledge holder design is TOSH’s logo since the facility strives for all who participate in their activities to approach them with creativity, connection, community and education. As well as acknowledgement for Indigenous knowledge and relations to the land on which we are located. The gift shop banner design plays with negative and positive space. By cutting the imagery in half and reversing it in a stylized black and white look, it highlights the Salish forms of the crescent and trigon, each of which can symbolize many things depending on how they’re used and in relation with surrounding designs.
— NEWS Staff, submitted