An opening reception and sale will be held at The MAC on Saturday, April 2.
The public can attend to meet the artists Gerald Fuller and IceBear.
Born in Campbell River and raised at Nanoose Bay, Gerald grew up with the beaches and creeks as his playground. Today Gerald lives on Little Mountain overlooking the Salish Sea.
A creative and self-taught photographer, Gerald has had a passion for exploring the Pacific Northwest coastal communities to locate and photograph totem poles and connect with First Nation carvers.
Gerald was raised from the age of 4 years old by a Coast Salish step-father who became his father, as Gerald grew up he was introduced to First Nation culture and in his late teens he attended a Snuneymuxw (Coast Salish) Potlatch.
Some First Nation People say that this is where the seed was planted and Gerald received his vision and desire to photograph the totem pole in his later years.
Apart from his photography, Gerald loves to go “beyond the photograph,” with research to ensure that the First Nations artist is honoured and recognized for their work.
It is through his unique composition and style of photography that Gerald brings a new life and excitement to the sometimes overlooked artistry and mythology that connects and surrounds us in the Pacific Northwest.
IceBear (Chris Johnson to his friends) is a status member of the Chippewas of Nawash at Cape Croker at Georgian Bay in Ontario. Born in 1953, for most of his childhood he was in the care of Indian and Northern Affairs.
He credits his art and the strength of the visions the Spirits and the Creator have always given him for his survival of those early years.
The essence of what makes IceBear art has been with him always; as a small child, drawings were his only means of communication.
He undertook his first art commission at age 10, for his church, to create a collage ‘stained glass’ window, which remained in place until the church could afford to replace it with the real thing.
Thanks to the foresight of a teacher, and funding by Indian and Northern Affairs, he attended the Toronto artists’ workshop, and later Sheridan College.
As a teenager, Chris supplemented governmental support by creating paintings that friends sold on city streets. After leaving college, IceBear spent about 25 years in the commercial art and design business, eventually owning his own boutique design studio.
But a visit to B.C. proved to be a change of direction, and he left Toronto for a new life on the West Coast.
IceBear’s huge public art works (created between 1992 and 2001) have been extensively covered by local media, been front page photos and TV and newspaper headlines several times, even receiving a 1999 Community Arts Award for the contribution he and his public art had made to the Capital region.
While his favourite place remains Vancouver Island, his paintings and sculptures have appeared in such diverse locations as the Ojibway Cultural Centre in Ontario to Taiwan.
The artist and his work have traveled wildly in the U.S. from Hawaii to New York and points in between.
From a reservation on the shores of Lake Huron to a concert hall in Vienna, and the streets and ancient plazas of his long time artistic hero, Michaelangelo—an artistic journey that still amazes him.
— Submitted by The MAC