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Her nickname “Blue” comes from being coined the “Blue Artist.” The Tshilqot’in artist Barbara Derrick Barbara Derrick is an Aboriginal artist whose traditional roots comefrom her mother’s Tshilqot’in heritage, and herfather’s Ukranian, Hungarian and Scottish descent. She was born in a small lumber community of Quesnel, B.C.
CAREER NARRATIVE- BARBARA DERRICK
Certificate: College of New Caledonia, Native Social Development Worker, 1998 Certificate: Portage College, Native Arts & Culture Instructor, 2004
Certificate: Mohawk College, Teaching Adult Learning, 2013
Certificate: John Maxwell University, Leadership 2015
Barbara Derrick is an representational painter exploring the balance in Native subjectivity. She lives and works in Edmonton, and is an Arts Leadership Consultant Coach for her business in Native Studio Art. Throughout her collage years the artist graduated with distinction from Native Cultural programming and provided her with educational background as a faculty member teaching in Native Cultural Arts at the Portage College for over ten years. As she became more confident at mentoring, and teaching others in a classroom setting Barbara found a way she could mentor, and coach people of all ages through her art. She then left faculty to continue to pursue her passion in the arts and in helping others by setting up her own art studio space. Barbara’s plaster facial images placed on mixed media canvas create curiosity from its viewers. The artist has had several solo exhibitions, both nationally and in Edmonton. In 2011, her mixed media paintings were the subject of a three-year retrospective at See.Me Art Takes Times Square, New York., NY group digital exhibition. Barbara’s work seeks to find balance by incorporating the four directional education system of her teachers. While her artwork aims to represent real images found in the plastered faces, the artist also uses the elements of non-objective principles in an unusual and stimulating manner. Her publications on the role of biocultural approaches to education and art appear as if they were one. She calls the oneness empowerment, and found in her newly released book “Walking in Your Own Power” to be released in 2017 by The Professional Woman Publishing.
ARTS LEADERSHIP CONSULTANT & COACH
In 2015, Barbara became a fully certified John Maxwell Trainer, Speaker and Coach. Her training enabled her to follow her dream to establish Native Studio Art, which was a determined choice to focus her attention on fully developing her art research and practice. Barbara new to Edmonton’s community, has served as a volunteer for various community art festivals, and mentor/coach beginning and advanced artists on the business of arts for a year. At present, Barbara is creating business related courses for artists interested in advancing in their art, for the purposes of the art market. The studio focuses primarily on the production of her artwork, preparation for exhibition and publication, plus large scale murals and public art commissions. It is her interest to continue to immerse herself in the world of art by attending local festivals, and workshops.
Barbara is interested in expanding on her knowledge of Indigenous color and design on her plastered masks. Her research has currently extended traditional First Nation values and belief systems. The masks a conceptual icon in representing loss of human identity and its relationship to the spirit world. The artistic designs depict transformation for the mask wearer and relies on music or dance to call the spirit forth, a ritual of the past that once helped hide his/her identity.
Barbara’s current exploration has focused on how First Nation culture expresses their values, beliefs and world views through artistic practices. As our technology advances, as an artist she wants to affect how “traditional beliefs and customs” are portrayed in society.
Her work is driven by Gaston Bacheland’s concept of “God” to “Fire” with a proficiency in modern science, a French philosopher who compared them as “It is intimate and it is universal. It lives in our heart. It lives in the sky. It rises from the depths of the substance and offers itself with the warmth of love. Or it can go back down into the substance and hide there, latent and pent-up, like hate and vengeance.”
MIXED MEDIA PAINTINGS, NATIVE MASK ART
Barbara’s art practice is in various media- mixed media paintings and Native mask art—which she explores in various ways, and through materials to create modern masks that emulate its traditional values in a contemporary way. From the paintings of background on canvases using various acrylic gels, and liquids to plaster, dry wall compounds, interior tape, to mouldings, and polymer compounds she moves through each work of art with ease. The artist considers the journey as a medium and has produced a significant body of work while exploring traditional meanings of the masks. Her artistic works create curiosity from viewers and others feel uncomfortable when attempting to understand the underlying messages in her work. She has discovered a new "First Nation Avante Garde" within her work.