Atheana Picha: Salish Weaving Residency
Nash’mene’ta’naht Atheana Picha brings her loom and weaving supplies to the Gallery for an eight-week summer residency.
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Inspired by learnings from Elders and teachers, by her own family history, and from researching belongings of her ancestors, Picha continues to contribute to the legacy of Coast Salish art.
Salish weaving is a time and labour-intensive process, one that laid dormant at Musqueam for years. In the 1960s, there were a few groups who began to bring that knowledge back from sleep. Wendy Sparrow encouraged her sister Debra to join the effort and together they began to research extensively through interviews, readings, and observing blankets found in museums and ones handed down through family. Debra, along with weavers Krista Point and Robyn Sparrow who too had joined the effort in the 1960s, continue the work of their ancestors and are a force in Salish weaving.
From her learnings, mentoring under xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam weaver and artist qwasen Debra Sparrow since 2020, Picha now helps continue this tradition. With experience hand-spinning and hand-dyeing sheep’s wool, Picha has woven blankets as ceremonial gifts for babies, youth, and adults, as well as headbands and weavings for utilitarian uses.
Visitors are invited to come to the Gallery to see Picha, learn more about her practice, and to observe her weavings grow. There will be four open invitation sessions during the Salish Weaving Residency on select Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm: July 13, July 27, August 10, and August 17.