Luke Parnell is this year's recipient of the Winsor Gallery Graduate Student Award. Largely concerned with the historical trajectory of the Pacific Northwest, his works engage closely with issues of representation, stereotype, and cultural identity.

A Brief History of Northwest Coast Design, 2009
acrylic on wood, comprised of 11 planks

In his artist statement, Parnell sheds some light on the concept behind
A Brief History of Northwest Coast Design

"The traditional arts of the Northwest Coast were a convergence of intangible and material wealth.  The intangible was things like rights and privileges [...].  The material wealth was the objects that represented those rights [...]. My artworks, which I consider the material wealth of our contemporary culture, explore our contemporary intangible wealth.

[The work] transposes a traditional Raven bent-wood box design to eleven planks.  Once the planks are installed in a specific order they create a narrative about the colonial history of northwestern British Columbia.

My methodology is to protect cultural knowledge but to still create art that is not devoid of meaning, I’ve done that by showing that my work is part of a lineage and not a break from “tradition”."