Sheldon Pierre Louis

SwiĆm – digging roots
July 1, 2023 to February 11, 2024

Sheldon Pierre Louis, swic’m – digging roots, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 4 x 8 feet.

This 4 x 8-foot painting by local artist Sheldon Pierre Louis references Syilx laws found in captikwɬ (oral stories). Here, the depiction of spíƛ ̓?m (bitter root) symbolizes femininity, governance, and the sustenance of nature and the ecosystem. SwiĆm – digging roots honours the community and family systems that govern and guide the Syilx peoples and gives thanks to the traditional teachings that continue to be critical to human survival. Louis created this work so that the knowledge would be passed down to future generations, reminding us of our collective responsibility to care for and uphold the natural laws of the land.

Sheldon Pierre Louis is a Syilx (Okanagan) multi-disciplinary artist who resides at sənƛ̓uxuxtan (place where the grizzly bear killed them) on the Okanagan Indian Reserve IR#1 near Vernon, BC. Sheldon is the lead visual artist for Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective and a current sitting board member for the Greater Vernon Museum & Archives and a former board member of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan. Sheldon has spent the last 6 years as a member of Okanagan Indian Band Chief and Council but has now moved on from political work back to full time artist.

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ artist statement and biography Click Here >>



Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 1 to 2 pm

Join us as we welcome local Syilx artist Sheldon Pierre Louis for a conversation about his work and his approach to honouring the community and family systems that govern and guide the Syilx peoples.

The Artist Talk will take place in the Front Project Space of the Kelowna Art Gallery on Saturday, September 30 from 1 to 2 pm in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.



Learn more about the Kelowna Art Gallery’s newest commission by Okanagan artist Sheldon Pierre Louis. Louis has created a large-scale painting on canvas that draws inspiration from his ancestral roots, building on his existing multidisciplinary art practice in painting, drawing, carving, and sculpting.



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