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Design is in the Air

Design is everywhere at the Museum of Anthropology, it’s in the architecture, the objects and belongings we share with the public, and the very exhibit spaces our visitors pass through every day. Over the next few months MOA and the MOA Shop will be on the lookout for a different kind of design as we kick off our second annual T-shirt design contest.

The contest, which is open to young designers who identify as Aboriginal, Indigenous, First Nation, Inuit or Métis, aims to encourage artists to create designs that speak to their identity and the story of their culture. This is an opportunity for new and established young artists to bring their art to the people of Vancouver and perhaps broaden their artistic ability in new forms of art and design techniques.

Alison Brmener, a young Tlingit artist hailing from Southeast Alaska, was named last year’s winner for her design entitled ‘Live Long and Potlatch.’ Bremner learned about the contest through her participation in the Claiming Space exhibit, which was recently featured at MOA.

The winner of the contest will receive a $250 prize and will also be entitled to royalties for t-shirts sold in the MOA shop. It’s a chance for established artists and new ones alike to share their designs with museum visitors and the greater public. “As an emerging artist, the opportunity to sell my work in a space such as the Museum of Anthropology was invaluable,” said Bremner.

Over the last few years Bremner has been featured in countless exhibitions with her most recent work included in Seattle’s Burke Museum in the exhibition entitled Here and Now: Native Artists Inspired. For Bremner, the design practice hasn’t ended with the t-shirt contest; her next project is working as part of a team of new and established artists in the installation of a massive glass screen for the new Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau, Alaska. They will be lead by glass artist Preston Singletary, who is based in Seattle.

The contest is an opportunity for artists to experiment with bridging traditional art styles with contemporary t-shirt design. It’s also a chance to just be creative! For those looking for inspiration for their next design, the contest organizers from the MOA shop have suggested a few questions that might get you thinking:

  • What inspires your sense of identity?
  • What do terms like Aboriginal, Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit or Métis mean to you?
  • How do you express your heritage, language, and culture?

A full list of rules and guidelines can be found below. Participants have until April 30, 2015.

Good Luck!


Rules & Guidelines

  • Contest is open to any individual 15-25 years of age who identifies as Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, or Métis. International submissions are welcome.
  • Design must use two colours only and must show up on a white or light-coloured t-shirt.
  • Design must fit on the front of the t-shirt (no wrap-around, sleeve, or back designs).
  • Design must be submitted using one of these file extensions: .ai, .eps, .pdf, .fxg, or .svg.
  • Two entries maximum per artist.
  • Artists must identify as Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Metis, or Inuit. International submissions are welcome.
  • The winning shirt design will be sold exclusively at the MOA Shop for one year.
  • The winning designer will receive a $250 prize and royalties.
  • Send submissions to