As a Native American woman, I found it very difficult to start my career as a painter 20 or so years ago. There seemed to be no place for unity in the arts, but without fail, I pressed forward and found my groove.
With the birth of each of my children, I have found inspiration through motherhood and teaching my children about the history of my Aboriginal family. I have 2 grown sons and a 5-month-old daughter named Jasmine, who has surprised me since birth with her interest in the paintings on the walls in our home. She too, has been immersed in the art world since April 10th, 2013, the day of her birth. I don’t know where it will take her, but am inspired all the same.
In the last few years, I have felt a need for change in my work. Working for the Canadian Mint creating collector coins for the past 2 years left me with very little time for my own art. Using my sketchbooks filled with ideas, I managed to do a few paintings, liked what I saw and decided to do a series. Although it’s difficult with a newborn, weekends and evenings give me time to my work with my partner’s support.
My fiancé Walter Witt is a carpenter originally from San Diego, California. He is also a talented musician/rapper, making us a strange couple, but both of us support one another’s artistic sides. I am stepmother to his two sons, ages 6 and 7, who are both very much into music.
We currently live in Eastsound, Orcas Island, San Juan County, Washington State, an island off the West Coast of the U.S., previously used as a burial ground by the Lummi Nation. There are no signs of aboriginal presence here now, with the exception of a totem pole located by the museum in the small town. The Island is gloriously untouched with trails and scenic’s everywhere, to fill the imagination of any artist.
My paintings reflect individual soul searching, gratefulness, connecting to one another through nature and prayer. Although no religion is reflected in the paintings, viewers share a spiritual oneness. There is always a consistent flow of Aboriginal touches that reflect off each image.
All Images Are © Darlene Gait
Darlene Gait Artist Bio
Darlene Gait is a Native American Artist from the West Coast Salish tribe ‘Esquimalt Nations.’ Her work has captivated thousands of Native and non-Native people due of the content of uniting people with one another and nature.
Known for her work on the Unity Wall, Ogden Point Breakwater, Victoria Harbour (Camel Point), Victoria, B.C. and “One Moon Gallery” – Darlene’s art gallery located on tribal land – she continues to inspire, create and take her work in many different directions.
The Unity Wall, in its 3rd phase, will be unveiled in the spring of 2014. The Unity Wall is one of the largest murals in Canada, and speaks of legends, cultural and spiritual themes that help educate the public about the First Peoples of Victoria, B.C., Canada. Artist Butch Dick, Songhees Nation, has partnered with Gait throughout the last 3-4 year time span it has taken to complete the mural project.
Darlene has worked with Orca Book Publishers, Victoria, B.C. Canada, creating several books with the theme of Native American Justice and environmental subjects for children.
Her work has also grazed the Canadian Mint, with subjects of Native American hunting, dancing and cultural legends.
Currently, she is raising a family and living between two countries, the U.S. and Canada, exhibiting in Washington State and Victoria, B.C. Darlene’s work is moving in the direction of becoming much more prolific and detailed with themes of spiritual and cultural content in a renaissance style that grabs viewers from all over the world.
Darlene plans on exhibiting her new collection of 20 large oils on canvas, in the spring of 2014.
Blog / Website: One Moon Gallery
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