Coast Mountain College has commissioned an art piece to honour the resiliency and achievement of the class of 2020 and recognize the unique circumstances under which this year’s graduates have persevered during the ongoing pandemic.
Kari Morgan K’alaajex’s submission of a fireweed and frog design called Resilience was selected because of its representation of transformation, resiliency and achievement. Each of this year’s 2020 graduates will receive a printed copy of the art piece in recognition of their achievement.
“We wanted to recognize the achievement of our graduates in these trying times with something special,” said Justin Kohlman, President & CEO of Coast Mountain College. “We are so proud of our students and their ability to adapt and learn in quickly changing circumstances – attributes which will put them on good footing in the future.”
The prints will be sent to students in the mail, along with a letter of congratulations.
“It is an honour to be able to gift the Coast Mountain College graduates of 2020 with this Frog and Fireweed design. The students have worked so hard to finish their schooling through this uncertain time, and I am pleased to celebrate their accomplishments with this design that represents both their struggles and their strengths,” says artist, Kari Morgan K’alaajex.
“The beautiful fireweed is one of the first plants to grow after a devastating forest fire, and just like the graduates of 2020, it proves that if you persist through even the largest of epidemics there is still hope to grow and flourish,” says Morgan in her message to the graduates. “The frog is a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Because of their drastic changes throughout their lifetime they also symbolize one's own ability to adapt and transform.”
Coast Mountain College will be celebrating our graduates through social media over the coming week. Check our convocation page on our website at: www.coastmountaincollege.ca/convocation
and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to learn more.
Sarah Zimmerman, APR
Executive Director, Communications
Kari Morgan K’alaajex
Born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia; her background is Nisga’a from the house of Kw’isk'ayn, European, and Metis ancestry. Morgan has been creating art using different mediums since her early childhood and has an education in various art courses.
Morgan received the Proficiency Award for Visual Arts in her graduating year at PRSS and the President’s Art Award Bursary at Coast Mountain College in 2019.
She has displayed artwork in various shows at The Museum of Northern British Columbia and The Lester Center of the Arts in Prince Rupert, with her most recent exhibits at The Terrace Art Gallery, The Smithers Art Gallery, The Kitimat Museum, and The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver.
While studying under master carvers, Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevan, and Ken McNeil, Morgan received The Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art Advanced Diploma in 2019, and is now working full time on her fine arts business, often named Kari Morgan Designs.
It is her hope to maintain incorporating her knowledge of traditional fine arts with other mediums she is also familiar with. She continuously aims to bring her cultural background into her future endeavours to display the strengths of her past, her family’s past, and the past of her ancestors.
Artist statement to the graduates
Congratulations graduates of 2020, you have persevered and succeeded throughout these strange times, all while facing the largest pandemic of this century. This Frog and Fireweed design is a symbol for both the struggles you have faced and to celebrate your strengths which have helped you along the way.
The beautiful fireweed is one of the first plants to grow after a devastating forest fire, and just like the graduates of 2020, it proves that if you persist through even the largest of epidemics there is still hope to grow and flourish.
The frog is a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Because of their drastic changes throughout their lifetime they also symbolize one's own ability to adapt and transform. Here the frog has its arm reaching out, as a representation to always continue reaching for your goals, even through these very unusual times.