Artists' statements regarding the "Friends United" project
"Rolf, thanks for everything you do for me and my family. Respectfully yours, David. "
"The book "Friends United" is an empowering visual experience for all of the readers and Native artists involved. Rolf Bouman's insight into Native arts and artists has sent this book into prestigious heights. For all those who assisted in contributing to this beautiful book, thank you."
Lorne A. Julien
"I only see positive things in the future. I have accomplished a lot in the past two years. I can only see positive things happen, as long as I stay steadfast with my artwork and just continue to try being open minded to my work and the art world."
"The work I have sold to Rolf has improved my life and has improved some of the lives around me, especially my family, my children and I’m hoping to give a sense of hope to other First Nations people and First Nations artists to pursue their hopes and dreams."
"A thing, I have always wanted to stress, was my gratitude and gratefulness to Rolf for supporting me in all the ways he has… Welalin, thank you."
"I have been able to use the money I made for supplies."
"With the prints from Rolf, I can sell my work and still have a picture of it. Before when I sold something, I’d never see it again."
"My life has become better. I started out with nothing."
"I lost before, but now I’ve gained."
"My Chief and Council were really happy. ..they were amazed."
"It really changed my life. I didn’t have clothes; I didn’t even have enough money to pay for my house, until Rolf helped me. I respect that guy."
"I am honoured to be a part of the “Friends United” book and initiative. The exposure and support I have received from Rolf and the Canada Cultural Centre, has bloomed into a wonderful opportunity of a life time. I have gained exposure to international markets that will further advance my goals of becoming a self sustaining Aboriginal artist."
"I believe Rolf, as a business person, understands that any project would eventually fail if there is no long-term sustainability plan in place. As a result, I feel he is trying to guide the artists and their efforts in becoming self-sustained, independent entrepreneurs and to work collectively and united, rather than competing with one another."