My name is Tara-Lee Gardner, I am of Stó:lō first nations ancestry which runs along the Fraser River, British Columbia, from Chilliwack up to Hope. I have grown up and lived in Vancouver my whole life and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Although Portland’s vegan food scene is pretty tempting, Vancouver’s vegan options are growing every day.
I am a graduate of the Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program taken at Native Education College, where I studied under my Instructor Robert Tait and T.A. Shawn Edenshaw. Studying at NEC has given me a better understanding of my traditional heritage and has brought me closer to my native identity.
The intent of my art is to create eye catching pieces that reflect my ancestry and convey stories and messages about issues that matter to me, such as animal welfare and environmentalism. I see each piece as a form of activism and outreach. I hope my work will spark conversation and evoke a thirst for knowledge that will never be quenched.
A portion of my profits will go towards causes that I care about. The rest will go towards making me happy and funding volunteer trips to animal sanctuaries and activism abroad.