The Salt Spring
National Art Prize


— About the Artist

Klehwetua Rodney Sayers
Hupacasath First Nation - Port Alberni, BC

Klehwetua Rodney Sayers is a visual artist whose studio practice is based in Ahswinnis, now known as Port Alberni. Although his practice is deeply rooted in his Hupacasath traditions, he is influenced and amused by his observations of the "funny edge" of the world—and these contemplations are reflected in his work. He believes that for an art tradition to remain relevant, it must change and adapt but remain true to its origins.

— The winning piece

Hot Rod Pink

Red cedar, epoxy, paint, bent wood yellow cedar, unframed

61" x 6"

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Artwork Statement

A continuation into the investigation of the concept of traditional First Nations Art and the influence of Hot Rod Culture, I present "Hot Rod Pink." This work furthers my conversation about how Popular Culture has seeped into my studio practice. I want these works to make the viewer stop and take pause, and perhaps think that they are Cool, just like I do when I see a Hot Rod on the street.

Curator Notes

I chose “Hot Rod Pink” by artist Klehwetua Rodney Sayers as my Jurors’ Choice Award winner. I was immediately taken by this work when I saw it in person and was drawn to it as both an object and a constructed thought. There is a clear mastery brought to the making of this work in the artist’s handling of its materials and processes as merged with conceptual and philosophical concerns. In introducing contemporary pop-cultural references to this careful examination of traditional practices and forms, the artist extends the visual language at play here into new and exciting realms. This is a very powerful work. It strikes a balance between simplicity and complexity in such a compelling way.

– David Diviney