Xavier York, a student at Westwood Elementary School, has won the Aboriginal Arts & Stories emerging artist award for 2015. The 14-year-old was recognized for his drawing of himself, at a younger age grass dancing. The Aboriginal Arts & Stories competition gives First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists the oppritunity to showcase their culture and heritage through written or visual art. This year there were more than 500 submissions from all across the country.
York taught himself to grass dance by watching others during powwows, and says it’s a very important part of his life.
Another important part of his life is drawing and creating art, says his mother Catherine York. “I’m proud of him. He’s been drawing since he was a little child.” York went on to explain that when her son was younger he had troubles with speech and hearing. During an assessment before he started school, it was said that his drawing was already at a Grade 3 level.
York hopes to create art for the rest of his life, and winning this award will help keep up his motivation. “I love drawing because I’m pretty good at it. I like how it looks, and it makes me feel. It felt good to win. I was very proud.”
Right now York is focusing on drawing with a pencil, but is hoping to get more into painting. His next drawing will be of his father and himself.