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September 18, 2020 – November 15, 2020

Boarder X

Artist Multiple Artists

Title Boarder X

Organized by: The Winnipeg Art Gallery

This exhibition activates Nanaimo Art Gallery’s collection of more than sixty ceramic works from B.C. through encounters with contemporary artists, craftspeople, and other cultural practitioners.

Boarder X

Boarder X presents contemporary work by artists from Indigenous nations across Canada who surf, skate, and snowboard. The exhibition reveals how these practices are vehicles to challenge conformity and status quo, as well as demonstrate knowledge and performed relationships with the land. Whether reading the urban terrain, making a cement jungle a playground, riding natural contours of white immovable mountains, or shredding the ever-changing waves, it’s not about controlling land and water, but being humbled by their power.

Through painting, mixed media, carving, weaving, photography, performance, and video, the artists reflect cultural, political, environmental, and social perspectives, as well as critiques about the territories we occupy. Artworks in Boarder X present narratives and observations of traditions, movement, balance, and entanglements of space, place, and belonging. Mobilizing traditional histories, the works conceptually bridge the past and present with reinventions in carving, weaving, and performance. Video and photography capture the energy of boarding with unbridled motivation and physicality. The exhibition is an affirmation of cultural resilience and an acknowledgement of ongoing respect and reverence for the land.

With four public skateparks, Nanaimo is a Vancouver Island destination for skateboarding, set between the world-renowned mountains on the mainland and the surf culture on the Island’s west coast. Boarder X is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the rich cultures surrounding these activities, through the perspectives of eleven Indigenous artists.

Skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding are dynamic and expressive practices that bridge art and sport. To further build these connections we have made a mini half-pipe in our Art Lab education space that will be active throughout the run of the exhibition. Join us to experience this exciting project, and to celebrate our inquiry question: What moves?

boarder x 1
boarder x 2
boarder x 3



Nanaimo Art Gallery is situated in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nations, and we are grateful to operate on Snuneymuxw territory.