An Indigenous Katzie First Nation artist Rain Pierre, along with Foundry Ridge Meadows, is working with youth between 14 and 24 to help them explore their creativity and work on a mural with him.
“This is me doing reconciliation in my own way,” Pierre says. “This is allowing us Indigenous people to show who we truly are without being afraid anymore. We are now stepping into a realm where we can be brave and stand up for what we believe in.”
Each artist is set to create a piece which is then voted on by the community. Finalists are selected based on public voting. Pierre believes this competition is an opportunity to make the space more welcoming for these children by creating a mural along with the winners of the competition.
“Lately I have been stepping out of my realm of artwork being just mine so, I created something called “RainAwakens Legacy Projects. The idea behind these projects is to include others in the creation of a mural through an art competition. We do this for high school, elementary school and community projects where this becomes their legacy,” he said.
Pierre usually chooses more than one winner and they get to collaborate with him on a hybrid project. He believes it’s a fun way to ‘shake things up’ amidst the sombre times we’re in.
A Rain Awakening
After years of working as a civil engineer, Pierre felt empty inside but, a spray painting video on the internet inspired him so much that he created his first painting and burst into tears.
Rain is a motivational speaker and continues to share his story about growing up on reserve with four older brothers and loving parents, being financially poor, chasing a career that he says “killed him spiritually” and the impacts of residential schools on his people.
“I’m a two-spirited (bi-sexual) and have extreme anxiety. How am I a motivational speaker? I ask myself the same thing every time I speak but, I decided to plow through my anxiety because I have a story to share that can change someone’s life growing up on Katzie First Nation.”
You can find out more about RainAwakens and the five-member team here.