Roy Henry Vickers, one of Canada’s most highly-praised artists, will launch his largest-ever collection of new prints at a public gallery and storytelling event on Saturday, April 6 at Vancouver’s iconic Waterfall Building near Granville Island.
The creations on display were inspired by Raven Brings the Light – a highly anticipated book co-authored by Vickers and historian Robert Budd – telling the legend of how Raven brought light to the world.
“This story belongs to the people of the Northwest Coast, where is has been passed from generation to generation for thousands of years,” said Vickers. “It is a great joy for me to share this in a new way. I hope through this story, thousands more will discover and understand this important piece of our culture.”
The April event marks Vickers’ first time unveiling a new collection in the city since The Vancouver Series in 1988. The day promises to be rich in significance, cultural exploration, and artistry. Throughout the celebration, visitors will be able to view the works, read copies of the book, meet Vickers, and enjoy a family-friendly telling of Raven Brings the Light.
Both signed books and a series of 12 limited-edition fine art prints will be available for purchase.
With Raven Brings the Light, Vickers retells a Northwest Coast legend traced back more than three millennia by archaeologists. In a time when darkness covered the land, a boy named Weget turns into a raven and flies from Haida Gwaii into the sky. There, he tricks the Chief of the Heavens and manages to bring the sun – kept in a box – to the Earth. While the story is ubiquitous across BC, this particular version originates from Chester Bolton, Chief of the Ravens, who told it to Vickers in Kitkatla in 1975. Vickers has since recounted the story to thousands of eager listeners.
One such listener is historian and co-author Robert Budd, who first started working with Vickers to document his memoirs. Budd has built a career on sharing stories. His first book, Voices of British Columbia, quickly became a bestseller. During lengthy discussions for the artist’s memoir, the current project was born.
“In essence, my work as a documenter and author is to sustain important stories from individuals and cultures,” said Budd. “When Roy first told me the story of Raven Brings the Light, I knew it was something special that needed to be shared. I feel deeply honoured to help further this tale and help bring it to new life through Roy’s striking art.”
In addition to print work, Vickers is an accomplished carver, a design advisor of prestigious public spaces including YVR and Saanich Commonwealth Place, a sought-after keynote speaker, and publisher and author of several successful books. Vickers is also is a recognized leader in the First Nations community and a tireless spokesperson for recovery from addictions and abuse.
Raven Brings the Light: A Roy Henry Vickers Art Show & Book Launch
Date: Saturday, April 6, 10:30 am to 4 pm
Venue: Waterfall Building, 1540 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver