Okanagan Indian Band artist David Wilson creates Indigenous works for BC Winter Games in Vernon

Drawing from ancient art

The work of a prominent Indigenous artist will be front and centre at the BC Winter Games.

The games are scheduled to be held in Vernon this February and Okanagan Indian Band artist David Wilson was commissioned to create 17 paintings, one for each sport at the games.

Wilson used the area's Indigenous heritage for inspiration.

“I am inspired by pictographs from the area, which would be ancient art work that is on rock walls, a cave-painting kind of thing,” said Wilson.

Wilson said he added different types of head dresses to each painting he did for the games to represent different aspects of Indigenous culture.

“I think it is a very good idea (for the games) to represent native people within the traditional territories,” said Wilson.

Games president Val Trevis said it was important to include the region's Indigenous heritage in the games.

“We have forged a really good relationship with OKIB,” said Trevis. “David has produced some outstanding work for us and it has become the feature of our merchandise material as well.”

Games merchandise featuring Wilson's work will be available at Hi-Pro Corporate Sportswear.

“I'm really ecstatic to see that we have this great working relationship and then to see these pictograms come out is really great,” said Trevis. “It's a good achievement for our board in a very difficult time.”

Anyone who has been to the Kelowna airport or Vernon Jubilee Hospital has seen Wilson's art work.

Wilson has two large paintings in the Polson Tower at VJH, a large piece at the Vernon performing arts centre as well as two paintings at Vernon city council chambers entrance way.

His work can also be found at several other locations in the Valley including the airport.

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