For Indigenous peoples in North America, the grizzly is a teacher.
Knowledge of it strengthens our relationship with the land, guides stewardship and offers insights into humanity.
By observing a society so outwardly different from our own, through reverence and kinship, we grow closer to finding our place within the whole.
Grizzly Bears: Teachers of the Land is a brand new exhibit at the Bateman Gallery in downtown Victoria, on Lekwungen Territory, produced by the Bateman Foundation and the Grizzly Bear Foundation.
It features work from more than 20 artists, and includes paintings, photography and sculptures that capture this majestic creature from a range of perspectives, alongside an immersive storytelling space, and a family activity area with drawing materials.
As a keystone species, saving the grizzly and conserving its habitat not only creates sustainable natural landscapes, but helps to enrich our own lives as co-inhabitants of our shared lands.
“The Grizzly Bear Foundation is proud to partner with the Bateman Foundation on this one-of-a-kind exhibition celebrating an icon of the North American wilderness: the grizzly bear,” says Nicholas Scapillati, executive director of the Grizzly Bear Foundation. “This culturally and ecologically important species captures our hearts and imaginations. Through art, grizzlies inspire a sense of wonder and strengthen our connection to the wild. Thank you to all the talented painters, sculptors, carvers, photographers and artists who have come together to celebrate the grizzly bear, and Robert Bateman’s 90th birthday!”
Many of the artists featured in the exhibit have original paintings, prints and art cards available in the Bateman Gallery Shop, which also stocks Grizzly Bear Foundation merchandise. All sales support the artists, grizzly bear conservation efforts, and the philanthropic work of the Bateman Foundation.
Grizzly Bears: Teachers of the Land continues at the Bateman Gallery until Jan. 23, running alongside a new permanent exhibit, The World of Robert Bateman, which celebrates the career of the iconic Canadian artist.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with physical distancing protocols in place. Learn more at batemanfoundation.org
– This story first appeared in the Winter edition of Pacific Coastal Airlines’ SOAR Magazine.
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