Release date: November 1, 2019

Tag(s): Awards & Accolades, Fine & Applied Arts

“I am incredibly honoured to be recognized by my peers for my bead art,” says Manuel, who learned traditional beading from her Ktunaxa grandmother and mother. “It is exceptionally important to me because it was the first art skill that I learned in a traditional way from my grandmother once I was released from the Indian Residential School.”

Manuel, a member of the Neskonlith First Nation, says beading has played an important role in her healing.  It helped her find peace to reconcile her trauma and grief, and to honour her grandmother’s teachings and culture.

“Art is a traditional language that connects me to my spirits, culture, land and environment. I connect to all that surrounds me, to form the vocabulary of that language, and I express it through the beads,” says Manuel.

As an artist, she sees an important relationship between art and the formation of identity, resolution of experiences, and development of an artist’s growth and abilities. This understanding informs her work with students at Capilano University.

“Long ago prior to contact, we used other materials of adornment to express ourselves: porcupine quills, moose, deer or other fur in tufting or other manipulations,” says Manuel. “Like all artists, we have evolved our art forms by using different materials. I like beading because my art supplies come from natural materials.”

Like her grandmother, Manuel practices beading on a variety of mediums. She likes to try new approaches to the art form because it keeps the art moving and alive. Her current focus is beading on Converse running shoes.

Submitted by: Linda Munro