Darlene Gait is an Aboriginal artist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She is a member of Esquimalt Nation the first people of Victoria, BC Canada.
Darlene grew up on a farm near the Englishman River in Errington, Vancouver Island. There she and her two sisters were responsible for taking care of the family’s goats, geese, chickens and rabbit, and weeding the huge garden. When school let out for the summer, Darlene divided her time between painting in her room and exploring the outdoors, along with her dog, and her horse/best-friend, Dusty.
Darlene credits her Grandmother Cooper as the most significant creative inspiration in her life. It was the stories her grandmother told her, stories about the history of the Aboriginal side of her family, that set her on the path to becoming an illustrator and painter.
Darlene began painting as a child and excelled in graphics, illustration and wild life painting after graduating from Vancouver Island University in 1999. Known for her portraits of Aboriginal women and children, many of her paintings reflect unity between Nations and non-Native people and produce a connection to strength of history and culture. Her design featuring the cultural legend of Orca transitioning to Wolf appears on the new BC Ferries vessel, Salish Orca on the Comox — Powell River route. One Moon Gallery, located in the heart of Esquimalt Nation, is home to Darlene’s entire collection of artwork, which displays limited edition prints and original paintings for public to view.
Darlene’s beautiful picture books include Secret of the Dance, Who is In Maxine’s Tree?, Catching Spring, Soapstone Signs, the second part, “Soapstone Porcupine” is coming out next spring (Orca Books). Her work is vivid, filled with life, and inspired by her own deeply personal connection to nature — a perfect match for this year’s theme “Walk on the Wild Side”.
To learn more about Darlene and her work, please visit her website onemoon.ca. Darlene is available for library visits this summer. You may reach her at Dar04@live.ca