Abbotsford Arts Council

Promoting local artists since 1971

Artist in Residence: Jay Havens 

May 11th - June 30th | Kariton Art Gallery

The Abbotsford Arts Council was proud to host an Artist in Residence program with artist J.Havens. 

From May 11th to June 30th, Jay Havens had his work in progress on display in the back of the Kariton Art Gallery. Visitors were able to watch him working on Tuesdays to Thursday from 4pm – 5pm. Artist talks took place on June 3rd and June 17th at 1pm and it was available for individuals and groups.


Havens is an artist of Haudenosaunee Mohawk and Scottish Canadian ancestry from the Six Nations of the Grand River. Originally from Abbotsford, he is currently based out of Haida Gwaii, BC. He holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia and is currently a master’s candidate at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Havens is an interdisciplinary artist working in the fields of contemporary art, scenography and education. Since 2009 he has produced 25 murals and various collaborative art projects for the Abbotsford School District which speak to the history of the Fraser Valley as told from First Nations perspectives.

Currently Jay is working on petroleum-based series titled “Rollback Rawhide” because the works employ a rawhide/leather-like product I invented using repurposed shopping bags. The form and process reference art mediums rooted in traditions from basketry and moccasin making to ceremonial arts like drum and regalia production.

One of the pieces that was on display from the "Rollback Rawhide" series was the The heron. It stood at almost 6 feet tall, and used unconventional materials, such as shopping bags, juxtaposed against very traditional aboriginal craft methods, such as the fancy basket technique. The piece is a direct commentary on the commercialization of reservations and urbanization of indigenous and challenges us to confront our part in the erasure of environmental habitats and cultural landscapes.  For more information contact the Abbotsford Arts Council at


Jay Havens