Michelle Sound is Swan River First Nation Cree and Red River Métis born and raised in Coast Salish territory. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University, School for the Contemporary Arts, and her Master of Applied Arts from Emily Carr University Art + Design. Michelle is currently the Aboriginal Program Assistant at Emily Carr. Michelle has exhibited her artwork in Pushing Boundaries; Contemporary Indigenous Art and the Talking Stick Festival: Kwèykw`áystway: Speaking With One Another.
“My artwork often explores my identity from a personal experience rooted in Family and history. In a series of Elk hide drums I am creating celestial images that include imagery inspired by Star blankets. Star blanket quilts are created by Aboriginal women to honour people and significant events in their life. I am inspired by the many Aboriginal women throughout our communities who adapt, create and are the backbone of our families and communities. My artwork continues traditional techniques and materials with a contemporary approach using dyes and paint.”
URBAN ACCESS TO ABORIGINAL ART (URBAN ACCESS) began in 2014 and involved yearly four-week intensive art and design programs that blended studio instruction with cultural studies modules and field trips. Fifteen aboriginal participants were selected each summer to learn traditional forms of art: Carving, Drum Making, Cedar Basketry, Beadwork, Moose Hair Tufting, and Form Line design. The program included cultural studies, visual communication, guest artist talks, and field trips to galleries and museums.
Videos have been made of each of these traditional forms of art to share the knowledge and cultural backgrounds of these practices and the artists. Please visit aboriginal.ecuad.ca/urban-access/ for more information about this project.
The Urban Access Project was generously supported by the Vancouver Foundation, the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Aboriginal Arts Development Awards, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, the Rona Foundation and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The project was managed by Brenda Crabtree, the Aboriginal Program Manager, at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.