Opening section of the Boarder X gallery

Starting point of Boarder X / Image via Lauryn Mackenzie

Boarder X is the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s newest art exhibit highlighting Indigenous artists from across Canada that surf, skate, and snowboard.

The exhibit shows how surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding can be used to challenge the status quo and start conversations around Indigenous issues. The exhibit is originally from Winnipeg and was organized and circulated by the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Each artist reflects on cultural, environmental, political, and social perspectives through paintings, mixed media art, weaving, photography, and film. The artists are from across the country, representing the Mi’Kmaw, Ktaqmkuk, Cree, Inuit, and Michif (Métis).

Artist Steven Davis of the Snuneymuxw First Nation has his own film Driftin! featured in the exhibit. He said he makes his films to centre around “cultural and political themes, to reconnect with Indigenous histories” that educate himself and others.

The Nanaimo Art Gallery‘s website suggested:
“With four public skateparks, Nanaimo is a Vancouver Island destination for skateboarding, set between the world-renowned mountains on the mainland and the surf culture on the Island’s west coast.”

Boarder X is a great way to celebrate the rich culture around skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing that can be found in Nanaimo and across Vancouver Island.

To further educate patrons on this topic, the Art Lab is featuring a mini half-pipe that people can watch skaters use, or even try themselves. Every Saturday, the Art Lab will have an interactive art project from button making to designing skateboards.

All ages are welcome to the exhibit. The art gallery is only allowing up to 12 people in the gallery at a time, and everyone will be asked to wear a mask. Entry is by donation.

The exhibit runs from September 18–November 15. The Nanaimo Art Gallery is opened from 12–5 pm Tuesday to Thursday, 12–9 pm on Friday, 10–5 pm on Saturday, and 12–5 pm on Sunday.


Lauryn is a fourth-year Digital Media Studies student. She has had her work featured in the Powell River Peak, Portal Magazine, and The Discourse. When she’s not looking up fun facts about bees, she’s probably fantasying about Portland, Oregon.

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