Zac George

Title: Shxwexwo:s : Balance & Strength

Artist: Zac George - Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ)

Curated by: Roxanne Charles - Semiahmoo

Year: 2018

Event: Vancouver Mural Festival

Details: The sacred Thunderbird, Shxwexwo:s is a mythical being in Salish territory who represents STRENGTH and POWER. Zac George, Skokaylem, a Salish Artist from Tsleil-waututh Nation, has created this image in honor of the strength and balance required to live in two worlds. Whether it is emotional, spiritual, political, and in any walk of life, we must BALANCE everything with strength and resilience to persevere. The Thunderbird also symbolizes the BELIEF we carry as Xwelmexw people; belief in spirituality is the foundation of our being, for without this, the Thunderbird would not exist. Zac George is proud to present this piece for people to enjoy.

Zac has spoken to organizers about the significance for him to be painting a mural in Mount Pleasant on the side of the Coast Mental Health building. Many years ago he used to hang out with friends at the old Biltmore Hotel, however in the last 10 years of his life mental health has become a priority and has in fact been connected to his pursuit, passion, and development as an artist.

About Zac George:

Zac George is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. He was born and raised in North Vancouver and now lives in Chehalis, BC. His work is inspired by his late grandparents, Chief Dan and Amy George, and Robert and Betty Edge. Zac studied carving with Don Joe of Chehalis and is proud to use the Coast Salish artistic style. He lives the rich cultural lifestyle of the Salish People: he is a hunter and a fisherman and follows the traditional spirituality practiced by his people for centuries.

While painting his mural, Zac ran into his Auntie who was participating in a VMF x SFU public talk just down the street. We happened to have a camera there and caught his auntie’s proud moment.

While painting his mural, Zac ran into his Auntie who was participating in a VMF x SFU public talk just down the street. We happened to have a camera there and caught his auntie’s proud moment.


 
 

Vancouver Mural Festival’s Indigenous Programs supports artists and organizations in the creation of public art and workshops for youth. We believe Coast Salish and other Indigenous artists have the power to reshape urban spaces by reflecting their contemporary and traditional values, stories, experiences, and ideas in this lasting and tangible way. 

Vancity’s generous support enables us to better connect the stories of these programs with the public. Below you will find information in the form of videos, pictures, interviews, articles, and more.

Note: Our definition of Indigenous includes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.