Coast Salish Carver to Create Camosun College’s Latest Art Installation

A modern totem pole, representing the energy and vibrancy of Camosun College, is being carved by Coast Salish artist Bear (Douglas) Horne as part of the finishing touches on the college’s new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation (CTEI) at Interurban.

Bear, a former Camosun student, has been commissioned by the college to create a modern 18-foot totem pole, or “house post,” incorporating three large cedar elements – the sun, the blue heron and the salmon - floating on a steel backing with waves cut into the sides.

“The three elements depict the transformation and return of knowledge that influence the students, staff and instructors at the college,” says Bear. “The sun represents the energy students bring to campus; the blue heron symbolizes the patience students and instructors bring to the classroom; and, the salmon represents renewal – that is, the salmon returning to the ocean and eventually back to the river - which is a reflection of student and instructor.”

This art installation is a collaboration project between Bear Horne, the Office of the Vice President of Education, the School of Trades and Technology, Camosun Innovates and Facilities Services. The house post, set to be completed in the new year, will serve as a grand welcome to all at the main entrance to CTEI.

Bear Horne is a member of the Coast Salish First Nation, Vancouver Island. He is the youngest artist of the world-renown LaFortune Family and trained with his father and carver Doug LaFortune as well as with Perry LaFortune. Bear’s work encompasses traditional Salish crests and motifs, but he is especially interested in experimenting with unconventional forms and unique symbols. Bear is primarily a wood carver, having created a special podium for Camosun College two years ago, now used at large college-wide gatherings and events. Bear’s pieces are known to be easily recognizable for their clean lines and elegant expression.

Original article from Camosun College