Nanaimo Art Gallery is a welcoming place to connect with art, ideas, and people. By transforming our spaces, reinventing our programs, and opening Art Lab our dedicated space for learning, the Gallery has become an integral part of the environment and a cultural destination on Vancouver Island.

The Gallery offers innovative, contemporary exhibitions of art and activities for learners of all ages, and through these, we are exploring the most exciting and critical issues of our time through art and sharing perspectives from this unique place with the world.

Now, to highlight our presence on Commercial Street, contribute to a sense of community pride, the Gallery is embarking on a special project. We are asking for your participation.  

Nanaimo Art Gallery is commissioning Snuneymuxw father and son team, Joel and William Good, to create a new large scale public artwork especially for our place. Carved in cedar and inspired by a Coast Salish origin story, William and Joel will create an eight-foot wide sculptural artwork that will become a landmark on Commercial Street, installed permanently and prominently above the Gallery’s entranceway. Help us realize this dream by contributing to the costs of production, installation, and acquisition of Joel and William’s work for the Gallery’s permanent collection, so the artwork can remain in place for years to come.

With your help, this project will signal our collective commitment to fostering new understandings, honouring the history of Coast Salish people as the original stewards of this land. This is an important opportunity to celebrate local artists and amplify Indigenous voices.

In the heart of Nanaimo, on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people, this project is part of the Gallery’s 2018 inquiry, how can we speak differently? In Hul’q’umi’num, scekwul yuxw 'alu kws nec's tu sqwal ct. We hope you take up this invitation by making a donation. Join us, and use the Gallery as a resource for inspiration, learning and connection.  

How You Can Contribute

Nanaimo Art Gallery is a registered charity and non-profit. We appreciate all contributions and we’ll celebrate each one with a mention on our active social media channels. Donations over $10 are eligible for a tax receipt. Check out our other ways you will be recognized for your participation in A Project For the Heart of Nanaimo.

Meet the Artists, Joel and William  

Joel Good, Snuneymuxw First Nations artist, works in the original Coast Salish style, one that has been revitalized by his father and mentor, William Good. Joel’s designs are derived from the legends taught to him and through extensive research into traditional styles and ways of working. Another significant inspiration is his mother, artist Sandra Moorhouse-Good, who was trained as a painter by her grandfather, Herbert Moorhouse.
Joel has had works commissioned by many significant organizations, including the City of Nanaimo, BC Hydro, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, Leadership Vancouver Island and Snuneymuxw First Nation He creates works of art for private collectors and provides artwork for his sisters for Ay Lelum-The Good House of Design.
William Good is from the Hereditary Chief family of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. He is the Master Carver and Cultural Historian responsible for revitalizing the traditional Coast Salish Snuneymuxw art form. He has spent decades researching this almost extinct visual language of the Coast Salish people, and has spent years producing art and teaching.
William continues to carve master works and collaborate with his family to create designs for Ay Lelum-The Good House of Design with his daughters, Sophia and Aunalee, and with their mother, artist Sandra Moorhouse-Good. He has passed the traditional art form on to his son, accomplished artist and carver, W. Joel Good, and they spend their days carving side by side.
In 2018, William Good received the City of Nanaimo’s Honor in Culture Award.

Images (from top)  Artist Joel Good working on the design for Supernatural Eagle Bringing the Sun Back to the World;  William Good's handmade carving tools at the studio

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