Su-gigyet: Transforming Terrace’s Roundabout into a Cultural Landmark

Photo: Stan Bevan

Today, the roundabout near Terrace, where Highways 16 and 37 intersect, isn’t anything special, just two tree-lined roads converging on a traffic circle. Next year, though, the roundabout will become a destination in its own right, with a major public art installation near the Kitselas fishing location Little Canyon on the Skeena River.

The public art piece called Su-gigyet, a major work of wood and metal, is being brought to life this summer by multiple Skeena artists. You can see a preview of the work online at the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival site, which paid a visit to the cedar-scented studio of Kitselas master carver Stan Bevan.

Stan Bevan and Mel Bevan in 2022. Photo: Stan Bevan

Dominating the studio are three massive carved human figures by Bevan with fellow artists Kobe Antoine, Brian McKee and Savannah Medeiros. 

Later this summer the figures will be encased by metal salmon-shaped shrouds by Terrace-based artist Mike Sorochan.

When the work is installed–the estimated schedule is for the fall of 2025–the figures with their metal cladding will be encircled by six large salmon sculptures by Skeena wood artist Roderick Brown of Cohowood Studio.

Savannah Medeiros paints a portion of the piece. Photo: Stan Bevan

The installation is funded by a $677,049 “destination” grant to the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society by BC’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. 

The name Su-gigyet, noted the society, is a Sm’algyax name meaning both ‘new people’ and ‘the original people have adopted a new way of doing things.’ 

“Su-gigyet will be a world-class art installation,” predicted Dave Gordon, President of the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society, when the grant was announced last fall.

Brian McKee (left) and Kobe Antoine (right) collaborate on the massive work. Photo: Stan Bevan

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