Many of Surrey’s public art installations have been created by artists with Indigenous cultural heritage, and we encourage you to spend some time visiting the art pieces and learning about their significance and importance to the artists. For all of the Indigenous artworks in the City of Surrey, visit the city website and plan a walking or biking adventure to visit and reflect.
The Rivers that Connect Us is a stunning installation made up of five-metre-tall, illuminated paddles raised to the sky, which welcome visitors to the Museum of Surrey. Created by k’wy’i’y’e Spring Salmon Studio artists, Drew Atkins (Nəq̓ɑɬc̓i), Phyllis (Qwoy’tic’a) Atkins and Aaron Jordan, the welcoming gesture honours the diversity of newcomers arriving in Surrey and the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples. (Cloverdale)
The Water Guardians sculpture at Hazelgrove Park is a vibrant red umbrella sculpture by Susan Point featuring Coast Salish-style frogs. Point’s use of the smiling frogs and tadpole motifs reflect the continuance of life and transformation from small beginnings. The overall design of the sculpture responds to the design of the park, which features a water play area, a Metro Vancouver water reservoir and city pump station, and an open vegetated channel designed to naturally cleanse and filter stormwater runoff. (Cloverdale)
We Are All Connected to This Land features 3 salmon — male, female & two-spirited, a sun, eagle, moon and a wolf. Designed by artist Phyllis (Qwoy’tic’a) Atkins, the wolf represents the teacher and guide of the Kwantlen People, while the eagle flying closest to the sun is carrying prayers to the Creator. The inclusion of Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon contrasts day and night and indicates the passage of time. This project is one of a series of initiatives by the City of Surrey to include visual representations of reconciliation on civic facilities and infrastructure. (North Surrey)
The Sea Captain is a large suspended wooden sculpture created by artist Marianne Nicolson (‘Tayagila’ogwa), a member of the Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations. The Sea Captain considers the history of travel and immigration to the coast from the perspective of the Indigenous people. The sculpture was inspired by a pipe from the early 19th century, carved by an unnamed master from Haida Gwaii. Many First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast carved representations of colonial peoples they encountered when European, British, and American ships sailed there to trade. Find the sculpture suspended from the ceiling in Surrey Central SkyTrain Station.
Raven and the First Sunrise is a colourful window mural by Kwantlen artist Brandon Gabriel (Kwelexwelsten) found on the outside of the Guildford Library (15105 105 Ave). It depicts the First Nations story about ravens that bring sunlight to the earth, and is set in a time before humans, when the Earth was still maturing. Ancient and wise creatures were hard at work shaping the Earth when the shapeshifter Raven was given the privilege of bringing light to the world. Brandon’s depiction of this ancient story is based on the version passed down from his Kwantlen ancestors.