A collaborative art installation at the crossroads of Hwys 16 & 37
This artist-led public art installation is a collaborative work between master Ts’msyen/Tlingit/Tahltan carver, Stan Bevan, and two northwestern BC-based wood and metal artists, Rod Brown and Mike Sorochan. Stan Bevan is carving the centre sculpture, featuring three wooden sculptures of human forms, which will be enshrouded in aluminum sculpted by Mike Sorochan. The centre sculpture will be surrounded by six 9-foot wooden salmon carvings lead by Roderick Brown of Cohowood Studio.
With a view to promote reconciliation through the arts and celebrate the importance of salmon to the people of northwestern BC, the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival works diligently to provide opportunities for Indigenous and other artists to showcase their works in high profile places and create a tourism draw based on the concept of public art in urban and wild places. This work was recently recognized with the 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Arts and Music Award for the promotion of public art in the area.
Work on the project has begun with a completion date of fall 2025 for installation.
Su-gigyet is the name given this proposed project by the late Kitselas elder Sm-oogyet Sha-gann (Mel Bevan). Its literal translation means “new people” in the Sm’algyax language of the Ts’msyen people. The underlying meaning is “the original people have adopted a new way of doing things.”
Pronounced: Su = shoe gi = gee gyet = get.
The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival thanks the late Kitselas Sm-oogyet Sha-gann (Mel Bevan) for the gift of this name and the permission to use it in relation to this art installation project. Sm-oogyet Sha-gann passed away on October 10, 2023.
We are grateful for the gift of this name and the legacy he leaves behind.
This project will be located in the roundabout located at the crossroads of Hwys 16 and 37. This is a strategic location that connects the communities of Kitselas, Thornhill (and other communities in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine) and Terrace. It’s these highways that also bring travelers south to Kitimat, west to Prince Rupert, east to Prince George and north to Nisga’a territory in the Nass Valley.
In addition to the art installation itself, this project includes the development of interpretive signage that speaks to the historical importance of the location to the Kitselas people. The safe viewing area will allow visitors to take a photo of the installation at a safe distance and will include small replicas of the art for visitors to photograph. The accessible viewing platform is inclusive, has safety in mind and would provide a unique tourism experience.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport and the Destination Development Fund.