The sixth and final installment of our popular JOURNEYING TOGETHER series of inter-generational LGBTQ+ conversations happens next Wednesday, March 7, from 6-8 pm. We will be welcoming as our featured presenter Richard Heikkilä-Sawan. Richard is a Two-Spirit Finnish/Cree artist, born in Vancouver, and adopted at two months by a Mennonite couple. He attended a private Mennonite school where he was bullied for four years.
Richard discovered his Indigenous heritage at the age of 32, as this information was redacted from both his hospital and adoption records. At that time everything changed—he had to rethink his identity. His art practice centres on this unique personal narrative.
Just prior his final semester at Emily Carr University in November 2014, he ‘came out’ late at the age of fifty-eight. It is then he created “Freedom Flag”, a large rainbow dyed buffalo hide stretched like a painting. “Freedom Flag” won the BMO Award 2015 (BC)and travelled more than 18,000km across Canada for an entire year. He also won the IDEA Award 2014. Through these key awards, three of his art projects are permanently installed in the prestigious Vancouver General Hospital Art Collection.
Richard will be a featured artist at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in a three-month exhibition from July through September 2018 where “Freedom Flag” will be installed with seven other works.
Journeying Together happens in the Youth Space, located in Sunnyside Community Hall at Bakerview Park, 1845 154 St. There is no cost and no registration necessary. All self-identified older LGBTQ+ adulst (55+) and youth (13+) are welcome to this safe and confidential event.
Hope to see you there! We'll have cake to celebrate the wrap up of this popular series!