DTES Small Arts Grants 10th Anniversary Website

Norman (k̕wa̱da) James Hall


Received a grant in 2013, 2015 and 2016

Norman (k̕wa̱da) James Hall is a Nuxalk, Tŝilhqot’in, Heiltsuk, and Kwakwaka’wakw multimedia artist born and raised in Bella Coola, BC who has been living in Vancouver for decades.

Norman’s expertise includes painting, beading, embroidery, carving, and printmaking. His hands are blessed by his Grandmother with matriarchal prayers and strokes of beaver paws. He is a self-taught artist who developed his own techniques. His artistic expressions are influenced by both traditional and contemporary arts.

Norman’s attraction to obscure people brought him to Oppenheimer Park, and it has been uplifting to participate in the shows and sales there. Daily, Norman can be found painting, beading or drawing. His hands were blessed by his Grandmother with matriarchal prayers and strokes of beaver paws. Two of Norman’s photos were selected in the top 40 of the “Hope in Shadows” photography contest and his self-portrait can be found in their 2012 Calendar.

Hall’s Public Artwork “The Chiefs and Nobles” was at Vancouver Public Library’s library square promenade on November 2018 – October 2019.

“Chiefs and Nobles symbolizes the strength and the paths of knowledge of these six distinguished Indigenous leaders and artists. I decided to paint these portraits to bring the Chiefs and the artists to life, and stimulate interest in finding out more about Indigenous arts, culture, history, and its future,” said Hall.

The Chiefs and Nobles painted on the banners are Chief Jim Pollard, Chief Alex Clellamin, Chief Sam Pootlass, Chief Willie Mack, artist Arthur Shilling, and artist Norval Morrisseau. The four Nuxalk Chiefs are related to his family history and his relatives. The two artists, Arthur Shilling and Norval Morrisseau, come from Anishnaabe ancestry. They survived residential school, and became internationally recognized as Indigenous artists connected to their heritage but working in contemporary themes. Their style and use of colour have greatly influenced Hall’s work and served as his inspiration.

The project was commissioned by City of Vancouver’s Cultural Services and Engineering Services.

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