“As a Female First Nations artist, I create artwork that expresses my individual story and shares my ancestors' stories. Every piece I create, I look at it as opportunities to learn and fully understand the complexities of my culture's visual language. My teachers have shared the foundations of the traditional art form, now I can continue the journey to share my voice through my artwork and honour my ancestors.”
Shawna Kiesman was born in Prince Rupert, BC and was raised in Victoria, BC. Her mother is Tsimshian/Nisga’a and her father is Haida/German. Shawna graduated from Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Arts (First Nations Fine Art Diploma). Kiesman continued her education at Emily Carr University of Art + Design to gain her Bachelor of Fine Arts and further develop her artistic skills. While in school, Kiesman received several awards including the Audain Entrance Scholarship and BC Arts Council Scholarship. Since graduating, Shawna’s career as an artist has continued to thrive, having successfully received a grant from First Peoples' Cultural Council and she was chosen to attend RBC Audain Museum Emerging Artist Program, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Bonnie McComb Kreye Studio residencies. Kiesmans work is included in the permanent collections of the Nisga’a museum, Wii Gyemsiga Siwilaawksat and Coast Mountain College. Her work has been featured in creative review and canadian architecture magazine. Shawna continues to explore her art practice using the mediums of digital art, textiles, drawing and painting.