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Katzie artist unveils murals on new Maple Ridge pump station

The murals can be seen at the north end of the Golden Ears Bridge

A new two-sided mural will be greeting visitors to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

At the north end of the Golden Ears Bridge, on panels adorning the south wall of the new Golden Ears Pump Station, are two designs by Katzie First Nation artist Rain Pierre.

Depending on what direction drivers are travelling, they will either see an image of an eagle with a heron, or a sturgeon jumping in Pitt Lake.

Called lenticular artwork, each image has to be viewed from each side of the building to see it in its entirety.

In the one image the eagle is red with fire, and a blue heron, represents the cold.

“The heron represents the paths that our people have been through and like the cold dark history that we have,” he explained in a video online.

“And the fire represents the fire that we have within inside of us to move forward as a nation and as people,” he said.

The second mural is based on a story called the Katzie Ethnographic Notes, written by Pierre’s great grandfather in The Katzie Book of Genesis about the first sturgeon and how it came to be in Pitt Lake.

The daughter of Siem, Pierre explained, would always be in the water and never wanted to get out. So, she was transformed in the first sturgeon in the water. Across the panels of this piece is a lightening bolt in the shape of the Fraser River.

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Pierre’s parents were on hand at the official unveiling of the art installation on Monday, July 17 – and couldn’t be prouder.

“This artwork was on my walls, in my living room, in my bathroom, in my bedroom,” Pierre’s father joked to laughter around the room.

Katzie First Nation Chief Grace George, said she was there to honour, showcase and show her pride in the artwork of Rain Pierre, calling it an extreme honour.

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“It’s even a little bit more touching when it’s right in the core of our territory,” she said.

Other dignitaries were also at the event including Metro Vancouver Regional District CAO Jerry Dobrovolny, Metro Vancouver vice chair John McEwen, City of Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy, and City of Pitt Meadows councillor Tracy Elke, amongst others.

Pierre dedicated the art piece to his parents.

“Every project I do I dedicate to my mom and my dad,” he said to those gathered at the pump station for the unveiling.

“I do that because they have been my biggest supporters all through my life,” he said.

“Everything I do is for them because I want to show that their survival means something,” he added, because they are both residential school survivors.

He also encouraged others to follow their dreams, like he did becoming an artist.

“Life is way too short to do anything but what you love,” he said.


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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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