Photo from last year’s One Wave Gathering. This year’s One Wave Festival runs through Sept. 15, and will feature an exhibition, multiple educational presentations, along with a gathering celebration on the final day. Local artist Charlene George’s art will be on display at the Gathering on Sept. 15. (Photo by Siobhan Powlowski)

Local artist to be featured at One Wave Festival

T’Sou-ke artist Charlene George will have a wide variety of pieces on display

If you plan to visit One Wave Festival this year, you might see a familiar face.

T’Sou-ke Nation artist Charlene George kQwat’st’not will have her work on display on Sept. 15 during the One Wave Gathering at Centennial Square in Victoria.

George specializes in textile art, but also paints, carves, makes baskets, designs tattoos, does graphic design work and more, and will have a wide variety of work on display.

The textile pieces she will bring to One Wave will generally serve as examples, and people are welcome to order custom designs. All of George’s art falls under a similar Coastal Salish style.

George also uses her talent to educate, working in schools anywhere from kindergarten to Grade 12 and in universities. She has worked at both the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University sharing her knowledge of art, philosophy and culture.

“I have been showing my art publicly for around 20 years, but before that, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been creating things with my hands,” said George, adding that she has always loved seeing all the beautiful textile work being produced.

She explained that she learned to carve at a young age, and all the different art forms have snowballed since then.

“Art is a gift that comes from my hands,” said George.

George wanted to get involved in the One Wave Festival because she values her relatives from around the South Pacific, loves to see all the work other artists are doing and likes how the event brings communities together.

One Wave runs through Sept. 15, and will feature an exhibition, multiple educational presentations, along with a gathering celebration on the final day.

The event is produced with the support and permission of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations (Lekwungen peoples), and is about celebrating Pacific Indigenous arts and cultures, building community, and creating solidarity for the stewardship of our shared environment,” said April Ingham, executive director at Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, which hosts the event. “This year we are working within the theme Navigating our Shared Waters.”

This is the 11th time the annual event has been held in Victoria, and is intended for people to learn more about indigenous culture, celebrate traditions and bring communities together.

Visitors are invited to gather Saturday (Sept. 15) from noon to 6 p.m. to explore interactive displays, educational activities and cultural sharing with Indigenous elders, vendors, artists and community members.

Last year, four longhouses were raised on the legislature’s lawn, a historic Lekwungen village site, representing Coast Salish, Kawkwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and South Pacific nations. This year, there will be a digital media installation in the shape of a longhouse, which will be comprised of videos, photos and presentations from last year’s event. For more information, please visit pacificpeoplespartnership.org.

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