Jane Marston is a Coast Salish First Nation artist. She is the mother of seven grown children and a proud grandmother. She began carving under the mentor-ship of Simon Charlie in 1984 and worked with him on various art projects until April of 2005. Totem poles, ceremonial rattles, dolls, talking sticks, dancing sticks, paddles and ceremonial masks have become her specialties. Although her main medium is wood, she has also become very proficient in watercolor, doing scenes with symbols that depict her native heritage. Her inspiration comes from old Salish art pieces that she discovered in museums. She pays close attention to nature and combines both the past and the present in her work. She believes that there is importance in showing traditional symbols but also expresses that we must dream new dreams and invent new art that speaks to us in our present day.
Although she taught a great number of people to carve in the studio where she worked, she decided she wanted to teach in universities and share her knowledge with a wider audience of people. She then went back to school and got her Masters Degree in Indigenous Government. This experience has given her art a greater depth and meaning. Through this education she has become aware of the effects colonization has had on the art of her people. She uses these ideas in her watercolors and her carvings.
Jane taught at the Simon Charlie Society for three years. She taught First Nation art in a holistic way; a way that looked after the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional aspects of the students. She always tried her best to teach the way her people used to teach. In 1988 Jane was asked to go to Holland and give lectures on First Nation art and culture. She spent three weeks giving talks at schools, universities, and public meetings. In 1997 she was asked to go to New Zealand to talk about First Nation literature, art and culture. She spent three weeks in the north island of New Zealand giving lectures at schools, colleges, universities and homes. Jane also does guest lectures at Malaspina University College in Nanaimo. Her main discussion topics are often based in West Coast First Nation art and culture, the history and evolution of First Nation art, and leadership as a First Nation artist.
Presently, her magnificent art can be found in both private and public collections all over the world.