Expanded Stewardship, Reciprocal Foraging + Wild Pigments: A Conversation with Tilke Elkins + Klehwetua Rodney Sayers

April 20 2023 / 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Join Oregon-based artist and Wild Pigment Project founding director Tilke Elkins, and Klehwetua Rodney Sayers for a talk at CVAG on Thursday, April 20. Doors open at 6:30PM.

Tilke will share her studio practice over the years using mineral and botanical pigments and her work exchanging wild foraged pigments with artists around the world. Rod will share current work and research and how these practices interact with ideas of sovereignty and stewardship. Presentations will be followed by a group discussion on how artists can engage to align their material practices with values of reverence for place and ways to give back to the land and its communities, both human and interspecies.

Hybrid Event — In-person / Live-streamed

Free / Public / All Ages

Images: Tilke Elkins (left), Klehwetua Rodney Sayers (right)

TILKE ELKINS (‘TIL-kah EL-kins’) founded Wild Pigment Project in 2019, and is the director. Tilke has been researching, foraging for and painting with botanical and mineral pigments since 2008, with particular focus on the magic that happens when plant and stone pigments are combined. She leads group collaborations through classes and workshops, and co-organized the  inaugural Pigments Revealed Symposium in June 2021. She is the curator for the group WPP Exhibition, which opened at Form & Concept gallery in Santa Fe, NM, in September 2022.

Wild Pigment Project promotes ecological balance & regenerative economies through a passion for wild pigments, their places of origin, & their cultural histories. The project connects artists to the land by providing resources, education & inspiration to integrate plant & mineral pigments, hand-gathered & prepared in local landscapes, into studio practice.

KLEHWETUA, RODNEY SAYERS, is a Hupač̓asatḥ artist from Ahswinis, Port Alberni, British Columbia, and is a descendant of the nuučaanuł (Nuu Chah Nulth) peoples. Rod’s practice examines the role of traditional artwork in a contemporary world. Rod believes in order for traditions and artforms to survive, they must adapt. Rod also leads the recently formed non-profit, C.R.A.F.T., the Centre for Retrofitting and Failure Techniques / qʷicčiƛma, the sky opened up, is how we translate this concept into nuučaanuł. 


FOLLOWING THURSDAY’S TALK, Tilke will be hosting an offsite workshop.
Learn about reciprocal foraging + paint making from 10AM – 3PM on Friday, April 21.
Click here to learn more.


Plants Are Teachers is an arts organization led by community-engaged environmental artist Juliana Bedoya who supports individuals and community groups to establish their own cultural significance through skill sharing, including all stages of ethically harvesting and processing raw plant materials for art-making and environmental art practice. Respectfully using ancestral skills and traditional knowledge that navigates across cultures, and mainly working with garden trims and invasive plants, this work also aims to support local ecological restoration that fosters native ecology. Plants Are Teachers invites individuals to look for opportunities to creatively connect with their local landscape, while cultivating reciprocal relationships with the land and people. Providing educational opportunities as entry points to interact with plants as teachers and more-than-human beings who carry intrinsic knowledge, Juliana invites people to explore different technologies to interrelate with the territories they inhabit for an ongoing search for relationship with the natural world.


C.R.A.F.T. is the Centre for Retrofitting and Failure Techniques, qʷicčiƛma (the sky opened up) is how we translate this concept to nuučaańuł. C.R.A.F.T. is an ever-changing experiment, a research facility for untethered ideas and themes. Currently C.R.A.F.T. is refining tools and space for 100% local printmaking, and developing a mural/stage/native plant garden/gathering spot.


Comox Valley Arts works to facilitate and animate arts and culture in the community. Through their involvement in a wide variety of cultural activities, workshops, events, festivals, exhibition spaces, seasonal programs, and support of members groups, the community arts council actively educates and promote the Comox Valley as a creative and dynamic arts producing center.


Innisfree is an internationally registered Botanical Garden and a herbal farm near Courtenay on Vancouver Island, with an extensive collection of medicinal plants, a dispensary making herbal teas and other preparations, and gardens of culinary herbs, vegetables and berries. They showcase medicinal and food plants and educate about native plants and conservation with an array of classes, workshops, and other programs. Innisfree is a nature oasis with a mission, teaching Botanical Medicine, Nutrition, Health, Shinrin Yoku, Biofilia… with a view to heal and reconnect people to Nature. They have been helping people seek Wellness in Nature for over 10 years.



The Comox Valley Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges that we are located upon the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. CVAG recognizes the enduring presence of First Nations people on this land.

The gallery is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with artists, writers, guest curators, community partners, our volunteers, donors + members. CVAG’s convergent programming is made possible through the support of our funders: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Comox Valley Regional District, BC Gaming | Local Support: School District 71, Innov8 Digital Solutions, Lacasse Construction, Progressive Systems, Phi Architecture, Sherwin Williams, Safe and Sound Window Film, Pacific Audio Works, Shine-Eze Ltd., Muir Engineering Ltd., Izco Technology Solutions, Cumberland Village Work, West Coast Home Theatres, Industrial Plastics and Paints, MakeItZone | Donors: Capital Campaign – presentation equipment | Community Collaborators: School District 71 Print Shop, ABC Printing + Signs

For this event: Innisfree Farm