Musqueam artist Robyn Sparrow "weaves" design into Marpole crosswalk
In time for National Indigenous Peoples Day, a busy Marpole intersection is now emblazoned with geometric patterns that reflect rich Coast Salish weaving traditions.
Musqueam artist Robyn Sparrow has designed the three-section crosswalk, at Granville Street between 68th and 70th avenues, a spot that's close to Musqueam’s ancient village of c̓əsnaʔəm, as well as the Fraser River.
The public-art piece, which will get final touches through to the end of June, is painted with traditional hues of white, black, sonoma sand, brick red, and yellow.
It was the result of a City of Vancouver call for Musqueam artists last May, in a project the city said was meant to "celebrate the vitality of the Musqueam community and their artistic traditions and contribute to Musqueam visibility on their unceded territory".
Sparrow and her sister Debra Sparrow are well-known weavers who are passing on the Coast Salish tradition. Debra has created other weaving-inspired public art, including a geometric-patterned mural on the pillars beneath the Granville Street bridge.
First Nations leader Wendy Grant-John, née Wendy Sparrow, is also their sister; she spearheaded the renewal of Musqueam weaving in the 1980s, founding Musqueam Weavers and inspiring her sibling Robyn to take up the art form.
A woven blanket created together by Robyn and Debra was featured in the UBC Museum of Anthropology's The Fabric of Our Land show last year.