Brenda Crabtree is the Aboriginal Program Manager at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. She is a member of the Spuzzum Band and has both Nlaka’pamux and Sto:lo ancestry. Her art practice includes cedar and spruce root basketry, drum making, moose hair tufting and beadwork.
Her work is continually shifting between traditional and contemporary representation and re-interpretation. She creates objects using traditional materials and techniques…and often incorporates politically motivated text to combat historical amnesia.
Urban Access is a program designed to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal people living in urban areas to access and explore traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art forms and materials.
The intergenerational participants reflect a diverse representation of our urban Aboriginal community.
The program focuses on developing, promoting and perpetuating cultural material practice and technical skills. Participants explore and apply their own cultural context to the design of their projects. The tangible outcomes include deer hide drums, containers and rattles, beadwork, moose/caribou hair tufting, form line design, painting, drawing, cedar basketry and a diverse range of objects created from traditional and contemporary materials.
Urban Access is hosted in the Emily Carr Aboriginal Gathering Place and is dedicated to promoting Aboriginal identity in a respectful, safe, and culturally welcoming venue that reflects Aboriginal philosophies and values.
The research, development and implementation of this program has been funded by the Vancouver Foundation and Canada Council for the Arts and supported by the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
For more information about this project and for more details about the traditional art forms and practices illustrated in the videos, please visit aboriginal.ecuad.ca/urban-access/.