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October 24 Lecture by Indigenous Artist Sonny Assu

The CWU Department of Art + Design will feature a lecture by visiting artist Sonny Assu on Thursday, October 24, at 4:00 p.m. in the SURC Theater (Room 210). Sonny Assu is a Ligwilda’xw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations artist who resides in his ancestral home in Campbell River, British Columbia.  

Sonny Assu was raised in North Delta, British Columbia, over 150 miles away from his ancestral home. Having been raised as your everyday average suburbanite, it wasn’t until he was eight years old that he discovered his heritage. Later in life, this discovery would be the conceptual focus that helped launch his unique art practice.

Assu’s artistic practice is diverse: spanning painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, and printmaking. His work combines Western and pop culture references with Kwakwaka’wakw imagery as a means of exploring his family history and his experiences of being an indigenous person in the colonial state of Canada.

Assu received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University in 2002 and was the recipient of their distinguished alumni award in 2006. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in 2017 and was one of the Laureates for the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s 2017 REVEAL-Indigenous Art Awards. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, among others.

Assu recently completed an artist residency at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, United Kingdom. His current exhibition Sonny Assu—A Radical Mixing is on view through October 26 at the Canada Gallery, Canada House Trafalgar Square, in London.

Sonny Assu’s lecture is part of a series of programs engaging interdisciplinary topics within the visual arts and hosted by the CWU Department of Art + Design. Admission to the talk is free. Please visit our website at:

Image Credit: Sonny Assu, The Paradise Syndrome, Voyage #39, 2016, Archival pigment print, 26 in. x 31 in., Courtesy of the artist.

Media Contact: Heather Horn Johnson, 509-963-2665,

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