Susan A. Point, O.C., DFA., RCA., D.Litt.
(1952 - Present)
Salish artist Susan Point is one of the most widely known and celebrated artists working on the coast today. Born in 1952, she is a member of the Musqueam First Nation. Though she recounts her exposure to traditional values and legends at an early age, she credits her late mother, Edna Grant-Point, and her late uncle, Dominic Point, as her primary influences. Due to the influence of European contact, Coast Salish art and design had nearly been entirely decimated, and most of the work being produced at the time bore a distinctive Northern aesthetic. When Susan began designing and producing jewellery in 1981, she turned to researching the traditional designs found in historical objects kept in museum collections and libraries. This research led Susan to create designs and images based on past work, and translated into limited edition prints, paintings, and jewellery.
A recurring theme in Susan’s work is the spindle whorl, an elaborately carved disk used by Salish women in the spinning of wool. Susan’s fascination with the motif has taken a number of forms over the years, and it has reappeared regularly in her graphic designs. Susan has since been seen as a key figure in the revival of Salish art. She has been awarded a number of important public commissions, and her work can now be found in prominent collections, including the UBC Museum of Anthropology, the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and the Vancouver International Airport. She has also won several awards in recognition of her talent and perseverance, and her contributions to the First Nations community on the coast.