Indian Art from the Edge is just that – works of art, drawings, paintings, carvings – from Indian (Aboriginal) artists whose lives ricochet from being homelessness, or living in emergency shelters, or tiny single rooms with barely enough space to turn around in -- and it’s long and risky hallway to the toilet down the hall. But they manage to do their art wherever they are, whatever their situation. Then it is often a day-to-day round on the wet and cold streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, peddling the works piece by piece to passersby, offices where they are allowed to come in, or to regular customers by calling them and meeting to sell the latest piece.
Marylee Stephenson, of North Vancouver, is the spirit behind Indian Art from the Edge. She has been collaborating for decades with several of these Indian Artists from the Edge – frequently buying their works and then preparing the time and process for bringing them to collectors around the world. The income from the sales is shared between Ms. Stephenson and the artists.
The Artists from the Edge generally use acrylics for most of their work—especially the larger pieces. For some small works, often light-hearted in tone and subtle in colour, they may use coloured pen and ink. The art can be on tiny pieces on birch bark or there are large, colourful ones on acid-free paper. Some also are painted on thin slices of wood, such as pieces of veneer that an artist may have found in some left-over building materials. A few are on stretched canvas. When working from the Edge, any materials that will take colours and hold a line can be the base for a painting or drawing.
Buy beautiful, original, one-of-a-kind pieces, receiving a brief biography of the artist, and an explanation of the subjects portrayed – stories of Raven, Killer Whale, Sea Otter, or of the fanciful and fantastic images of wildlife, forest, mountains, and lakes that express the feelings of the artist as they work. Know that you have a direct connection to artists whose genius you would otherwise never know except for choosing your own piece of the works of Indian artists living on the edge of day-to-day life.
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