Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

1957 -

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, of Coast Salish descent, graduated from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in British Columbia. In combining his own experiences with a political perspective, he paints landscapes with vivid, acidic colours, merging Native iconography with a surrealist influence to address West Coast Native issues.

Yuxweluptun is Salish for "man of many masks," a name given to the artist during his initiation into the Sxwaixwe Society at the age of fourteen. It is Cowishan Salish belief that the Sxwaixwe is a supernatural being who came down from the sky to live at the bottom of a lake. There is a dance associated with this creature in which the mask plays an important role. Yuxweluptun explains, "You carry the mask that belongs to your family and you identify with the animal on the mask." (Robin Laurence, "Man of Masks," Canadian Art, Spring 1995).

Yuxweluptun's political roots can be traced back to childhood. His father was founder of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and Vice President of the North American Native Brotherhood. His mother was Executive Director of the Indian Homemakers Association of British Columbia. With his parents as role models, Yuxweluptun was involved in Native politicization, attending meetings, demonstrations, and mailing out copies of The Native Voice, the province's first Native newspaper.

Yuxweluptun has chosen art as a way to voice his political concerns, exposing environmental destruction and the struggle of Native people. He believes that his artwork stimulates dialogue between Native and non-Native people.

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Birth name

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun


Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, 1957




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