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Robert Davidson Sea Ghost July 30, 2017 18:28

Robert Davidson is now known for his modern, abstracted creations based on traditional Haida forms and myths. However, like most artists, he began his career learning the basics and building a body of knowledge. This print, Sea  Ghost, can be viewed as a transitional piece because it depicts a distinguishable figure but the mode of representation is minimalistic and modern. Robert hand-wrote a note on this print which reads "Sea Ghost is a mythological beast - we're mythological beings searching for self." Sea Ghost is not commonly depicted in Haida art, but it has some association with Sea Snag, or Tts'aamus. Sea Snag represents responsibility and protection. It is a supernatural figure common within Haida culture associated with Sea Bear and Sea Wolf, symbols linked to the beginnings of the world and the formidableness of the ocean. Sea Snag is the personification of driftwood or deadheads. Regardless of the specific meaning of this figure, it foreshadows Robert's leaning towards the simplified and the concise.


New Maynard Johnny Jr Pieces January 09, 2017 15:25

There are few Coast Salish printmakers working with traditional Coast Salish forms and shapes. In the Northwest Coast art market, there is a high demand for artworks based on formline design, as seen in the art within British Columbia's northern First Nations cultures. This demand can encourage artists from southern BC and Washington State to adopt a formline, formalised mode of production, even though Salish and Makah design is often fluid and abstracted. In general, Indigenous groups from the south of British Columbia and Washington State did not create totem poles and were not as strictly bound to crest-based social structures. Thus, much Coast Salish and Makah art contains patterns and abstractions, based on rounded u-forms, crescents, and open trigons:

Maynard Johnny Jr is a Coast Salish/Kwakwaka'wakw artist from Victoria who works in his family's Salish style. Incorporating bold and bright colours into his work, Maynard's pieces are distinctive and he is definitely a rising star in the market.

Many of his pieces have a modern flair to them. From the fluttering wings of his Dragonflies print to the fusion of figures in his Raven's True Love serigraph, Maynard captures something unique with each of the figures he depicts in his work.

Maynard began his career as a teenager, and has continued his self-directed development of art-making. Recently, he began to venture from painting into jewellery and wood carving. He is inspired by notable artists including Robert Davidson, Art Thompson, Richard Hunt, and Mark Henderson. He was featured in the Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2 exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design, New York, in 2005. In 2009, Maynard's work adorned the cedar gift boxes that were given to special guests at the Canadian Juno Music Awards.

 


Haida Artist Francis Williams August 02, 2016 15:49

Francis Williams had the most distinctive style: fine lines and flowing designs, punctuated by sharp shapes and sharp angles. His jewelry, prints, and carvings are all very easy to identify due to this unique style.

He was one of the few Northwest Coast First Nations artists to record and document every design he created, and the University of British Columbia purchased all of his files upon his death in 2003. He was, and still is, an influential figure when considering modern Haida formline design.

 

The above print was one of Francis' first, and it exemplifies his penchant for playful composition and assertive linework. It is a "Dogfish" design, it is signed, and it is numbered 125/150. This piece is in its original frame, but will be shipped flat without the frame. Due to the fact that it has never been out of this frame, the areas of the print under the matte are likely discolored. There will be no refunds for this piece, regardless of the quality after the print is unframed.

Francis studied fine art and commercial art at Camosun College in Victoria, BC, and also received instruction from Art Adams of Masset. His influences originated from artwork within the Royal BC Museum and he exhibited widely in BC and Japan. One of his silver bracelets was featured in the Burke Museum's 2007 In the Spirit of the Ancestors exhibition.


Dempsey Bob's Raven and Sculpin June 10, 2016 15:01

Native Art Prints recently acquired a rare print by acclaimed Tahltan/Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob. This print is titled Raven Traveling with Sculpin, and it depicts a Tlingit myth:

During Raven's travels, he decided to take rest and camp on the wild shores of the Northwest Coast. While camping he saw a large sculpin trying to get ashore at the tidal line in front of him and he said to it "My uncle's son, come ashore here. Come way up. One time, when you and I were going along in our uncle's canoe we fell into the water. So come up a little farther. You do not look like a fish that likes the deep sea." Raven was very hungry, and, when the sculpin came ashore, he seized it by its broad tail intending to eat it. But the strong little bony fish slipped through his fingers. This happened many times, and each time, the sculpin's tail became smaller. This is why it is so slender today.

 

This print is an Artist Proof serigraph and is numbered 7/11. It is signed by the artist and dated 1979. Dempsey Bob is from the Wolf clan. He began carving in 1970, and studied with late Haida artist Freda Diesing when he was just starting out. Dempsey was encouraged by Freda to apply to the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan in Hazelton, BC, and he studied there between 1972 and 1974. Dempsey is primarily a wood carver, but has also branched out to bronze casting and jewellery. He has been included in numerous shows, beginning with the early People of the Cedar travelling exhibition that was organized by the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, QC, in 1977. More recently, he was included in the successful Totems to Turquoise exhibition, which travelled throughout North America in 2005. Dempsey's work is highly sought after, and his pieces can be found in the collections of such public institutions as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, the National Museum of Ethnology in Suita, Japan, and the Hamburgisches Museum fur Volkerskkunde in Hamburg, Germany. Dempsey has also become involved in Pacific Rim artist exchanges, and travelled to New Zealand in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. In June 2013, Dempsey Bob was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Art Thompson Seafood Series November 01, 2015 17:16

In 1977, Nuu-chah-nulth artist Art Thompson created a series of prints based on sea creatures that both solidified his status as one of the top Indigenous artists in Canada and ushered in an era of modern Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) design. Colloquially referred to as The Seafood Series, these five prints depicted sea creatures in a playful and unconventional manner. While they display the angularity and forms (such as the star, s-shape, and ovoid) found within traditional Nuu-chah-nulth artwork, they are asymmetrical and animated. 

Many of the prints that Art created in his short life were based on historical Nuu-chah-nulth formline design and subject matter, but The Seafood Series demonstrated his ability to produce something that was new and experimental while still being recognizably West Coast. Comprised of the Mussel, the Barnacle, the Clam, the Halibut, and the Cod Fish, this series represents the Coastal peoples' reverence for sea creatures and the sustenance they provide.  

Art Thompson was largely a self-taught artist, but he did study with Nuu-chah-nulth artists Ron Hamilton and Joe David. From 1978 to 1981, he carved with Duane Pasco. Art studied commercial art at Camosun College in Victoria, BC, as well as at the Vancouver School of Art. He was greatly influenced by artists at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan in Hazelton, BC. Art produced many works including silkscreen prints, masks, totem poles, jewellery, bentwood boxes, and ceremonial puppets. His media included silver and gold, wood, deer hide, acrylic paint, and pastels. Sea creatures were one of his favourite subjects, and many of his print images were drawn from drum heads. The design Our Beginnings was created as the logo for the 1997 North American Indigenous Games. He is considered to be one of the great Nuu-chah-nulth artists of the 20th century. Art passed away in 2003.


Beau Dick Hamat'sa Prints May 09, 2015 16:12

These whimsical First Nations Kwakwaka'wakw prints by Master Artist Beau Dick represent Kwakwaka'wakw dancers. They were created in 1980. One print is titled 'Tanis' and the other 'Tani Gee'. The word 'Tanis' translates to 'Dancer'. The other print is titled 'Tanis Gee' which shows a dancer preparing and means 'Winter Dancer', a type of dancer integral to the Winter Hamat'sa Dances of the First Nations people from Vancouver Island. Each print measures 14" x 16" and is from an edition of 225. Each print is signed and long sold out.

Beau Dick print

Beau Dick's many works include: masks, bowls, rattles, drums, original paintings and limited edition prints. He began carving at a very early age, studying under his father, Benjamin and his grandfather, James Dick. He has worked with Tony and Henry Hunt, Bill Reid, Doug Cranmer and Robert Davidson. His many important pieces are in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Heard Museum (Phoenix), the Burke Museum (Seattle) and the B.C. Provincial Museum. Beau danced and performed at the Opening Ceremony of Expo 1986, and it was during this same year that he designed the ‘Hands of Friendship’ logo for Lattimer Gallery. In May of 1998, his work was featured at the reopening of Canada-House in London, England. In 2005, he was included in the highly successful exhibition 'Totems to Turquoise' which opened in New York and then came to Vancouver. In 2012, Beau received the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award for Visual Arts. In 2014, Beau was Artist in Residence at UBC. Beau is dedicated to learning about historical Kwakwaka'wakw and Northwest Coast artwork, and he uses many older pieces to fuel his creative processes. Beau is always experimenting with new formats and new techniques in his work, and he has been a teacher to many younger artists.


The Kwakwaka’wakw culture, based in the north of Vancouver Island and on the mainland of southwest British Columbia, traditionally divides its year into ceremonial months and non-ceremonial months. The Tsetseka, or ceremonial season, begins in the late autumn and is marked by feasting and the activation of ancient dancing societies. There are four main societies in Kwakwaka’wakw culture: the Winalagilis, the Atlakim, the Dluwalakha (or Klasila), and the Hamat’sa. The secretive Hamat’sa society and its dancing rituals are based around the initiations of a novice dancer. The ceremonial winter Hamat’sa dance often lasts for several days and contains a large cast of characters who educate, terrify and challenge the nominated novice. While there are numerous representational spirits and creatures involved in this dancing ceremony, the primary figures are those of birds who inhabit the Sky-World and interact with human life below. These birds are guided by the spirit Baxbaxwalanuksiwe ("Man-Eater at the North End of the World") and include the Cannibal (or Hamat’sa) Raven, the Hokhokw, and the Crooked Beak. While the Hamat’sa ceremony is complex and contains many characters, Baxbaxwalanuksiwe’s birds are popular with First Nations artists because they have the potential of being both representationally identifiable and intellectually provocative. In the carving of masks, the Hamat’sa Raven, the Hokhokw and the Crooked Beak are often built with articulated beaks, which snap open and shut during dancing performances.


Andrew Dexel Enpaauk Prints May 08, 2015 12:29

Andrew Dexel Enpaauk is a young artist from the Nlakapamux Nation. Native Art Prints has been carrying his work for several years now, and it sells very well since his style mixes graffiti style with Coast Salish design. This fusion creates figurative and abstract images that speak to resistance and renewal. He began creating limited edition prints soon after establishing his unique style.

Andrew Dexel Prints

His beginnings as a graffiti artist is central to his style and since his switch from walls to canvas in 2007 he has brought this energy from the streets into his paintings. His work was featured in Kamloops Art Gallery's exhibition Shazam in 2009 and he also had the pleasure doing a solo show titled Gratitude at Vancouver's Grunt Gallery.

Andrew Dexel Native Art

His work is also featured at Vancouver's Lattimer Gallery and the Native Winds Gallery in Honolulu. He also had a showing of new works at Lattimer Gallery in 2010. Around this same period, Andrew painted a 7 1/2-foot fiberglass sculpture for Vancouver's public art project titled 'Eagles in the City'.


Larry Rosso Carrier Artist April 24, 2015 16:30

Larry Rosso was very well known in the Northwest Coast Native art market during the 1980s and 1990s for his impeccable bentwood boxes and modern designs. He was taught by Doug Cranmer and was influenced by Lloyd Wadhams Sr and Amos Dawson. In 1987/88, he worked with Robert Davidson on a house front project and continued a three year apprenticeship with Robert. Larry's carvings were often re-creations of Carrier designs and artifacts, from the Hazelton area, and his graphic designs were influenced by Kwakwaka'wakw traditions.

Larry's work consisted of carving feast bowls, coffee tables, bent boxes, wall panels and masks as well as producing original oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings. Larry owned and operated Northwest Coast Screencrafts 1976 Ltd. and specialized in printing limited edition serigraphs for artists such as Roy Vickers, Robert Davidson and a number of other artists. In 2005, the Vancouver Stock Exchange commissioned a large ‘Beaver’ panel in red cedar from Larry and featured it on their Annual Report. Larry passed away in 2006.


'Ancient Killerwhale' by Reg Davidson January 19, 2015 19:59

Native Art Prints just received Reg Davidson's new limited edition print, titled Ancient Killerwhale. It measures 27" x 18" and is from an edition of 175. It is priced at $360 CAD. At first glance, this design resembles a bentwood box composition. The whale figure is not explicit; hence Reg's "ancient" designation. The head of the whale is in the upper right quadrant of the piece, with teeth showing, and a green labret. Below the head, in the lower right quadrant, is a crouching human figure, representing an ancestor. The lower left quadrant is comprised of a compressed pectoral fin, along with the tail flukes. And finally, the upper left corner contains what can be interpreted as the figure's dorsal fin.

The Killerwhale, also known as the Orca, is a primary crest within many Northwest Coast Native cultures. The Killerwhale can also be found along the west coast of North America throughout the year. Killerwhale clans connect themselves to the sea, where their ancestors are said to have once lived at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. There are many legends that tell of Killerwhales tipping canoes and bringing the occupants to their villages at the bottom of the ocean, and of whales guiding people to safety when they are caught on the water. All along the coast, fishers and hunters often apply Killerwhale designs to their canoes and paraphernalia. These depictions often include human elements, such as a human face in the blowhole or tail flukes. The human elements within these depictions may represent the artist, the artist’s connection to their clan, or an image of transformation. Generally, Killerwhales symbolize longevity, communication and strength within Northwest Coast art and culture.

Reg Davidson, Haida, is from the Eagle Clan. He began carving in 1972. His influences include: brother Robert Davidson, father Claude Davidson, grandmother Florence Davidson, great grandfather Charles Edenshaw. His many published and widely exhibited works include: limited edition prints, silver and gold jewellery, masks, helmets, large poles, rattles, argillite sculptures and drums. Reg is also an accomplished singer and dancer with the Rainbow Creek Dancers, a Haida Dance group formed in 1980 by Reg and Robert. Among his many interesting commissions was a major totem pole project that was ordered by the successful British artist, Damien Hirst, in 2006.


Alano Edzerza Prints November 17, 2014 21:00

Alano Edzerza has been involved in artistic endeavours since a young age, receiving an award for sculpture from the Victoria, BC School Board at the age of 13. He started learning about Northwest Coast art from his family; in particular, from Terrence Campbell. In 2002, Alano attended school in Arizona under the instruction of Rick Charlie. He has worked with artists: Jay Simeon, Marcel Russ, Phil Gray, Corey Bulpitt, Beau Dick, Mark Preston and Dempsey Bob. As of late, Alano has been working with glass and experimenting with this medium. In October of 2007, Alano had his first solo show at Stonington Gallery in Seattle, where he featured new pieces in glass, jewellery and limited edition prints. The arrival of the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 opened even more doors for this rising artist, resulting in the Vancouver Olympic Committee commissioning Alano to create a large scale glass installation at Rogers Arena, as well as the Dutch Olympic Team contracting him to help design their uniforms for the games.

 

Alano Edzerza Prints

 

Alano is a young artist who is very familiar with traditional formline but also likes working outside of cultural conventions. Many of his prints are cropped and asymmetrical, encouraging the viewer to look outside of the print space, rather than within it. He also accepts commissions in wood and glass. Please contact us for any custom requests you may have.

 

Native American Beaver Print


Ben Houstie Prints August 08, 2014 20:06

 

Native Art Prints recently added two new prints by Heiltsuk artist, Ben Houstie. They both depict Frog in the same design but are available in two colours: red and green. This print is available for only $35.00 CAD each.

 

The frog as spirit animal or totem reminds us of the transient nature of our lives. As symbol of transition and transformation, this spirit animal supports us in times of change. Strongly associated with the water element, it connects us with the world of emotions, as well as the process of cleansing, whether it’s physical, emotional, or more spiritual.

 

Ben Houstie Biography

 

Ben's works include: original paintings, limited edition prints, carved cedar rattles and paddles. He has worked with Cheryl Hall, Robert Hall, David Gladstone and Beau Dick, and in 1988 worked under Bill Reid painting several drums of Bill's designs and 20 paddles for the Canadian Museum of Civilzation, Ottawa. His first painting in 1977 and his first limited edtion prints in 1987 were sold to Leona Lattimer Gallery. Ben also painted several reconstructed artworks in 2000 for the Museum of Anthropology's 'The Transforming Image' exhibition, at the University of British Columbia.


'Thanks?' by Clinton Work June 25, 2014 12:08

'Raven Bringing Light to the World' is a familiar creation myth in many Native cultures and its story is often recaptured in different interpretations. Kwakwaka'wakw artist Clinton Work has chosen to see the story in both a positive and negative light in his first limited edition print titled Thanks?. The fractured image depicts the exact moment that Raven brought light to the world, showing the momentary transition from darkness to light. The formline switches from positive to negative, contrasting this change.

Clinton Work Thanks Print

This piece shows how this transformation was a balance of positive and negative effects, stimulating thought about light and dark, about vanity and innocence. While light has the obvious advantage of allowing people to see their surroundings, its introduction has also caused differences of opinion on what is beautiful and what is not. Before there was light, in darkness everything was the same therefore there was no need to define things as beautiful or not; with light, now only some things are beautiful while others are not, and they are all exposed to judgment. People were able to see who had more, and who had less. Clinton has cleverly chosen the title, Thanks? to show his interpretation of the creation of light - thanks to Raven.


Dean Heron Prints June 22, 2014 18:55

 

Native Art Prints has recently added two complimentary canoe prints by Kaska/Tlingit artist Dean Heron. Each print is priced at $60.00 CAD and both measure 6" x 22 1/2". One is titled Thunderbird Journey (rust and black) and the other is titled Journey Home (light blue and black). Canoes in Northwest Coast Native American art symbolize travel and change, as suggested through the titles of Dean's prints.

 

Dean Heron Native Wolf Print

 

Dean learned to paint from his artistic family. Both his birth and step fathers are painters and artists, as well as his sister. He is a member of the wolf clan of the Kaska/Tlingit Nation and finds painting "as a way to share ideas and stories and pass these on to the generations to come". Dean graduated from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, where he received training from Dempsey Bob and Stan Bevan. In the summer of 2007, Dean painted five longhouse fronts for the community of Kitselas, near Terrace. He mainly works in the Tlingit style, but most of his works carry a distinctly modern feel. In the summer of 2010, Dean created several pendants for Lattimer Gallery carved in red cedar and hand-painted. In 2013, Dean became an instructor at the Freda Diesing School.


Glen Rabena Haida Bird Prints February 24, 2014 16:13

In 1978, Northwest Coast artist Glen Rabena completed a series of illustrations for Susan Marsden's book The Birds of Ksan. He created so many drawings in the Northwest Coast Native style that he decided to transfer these drawings to print format. From 1978 to 1990, Glen produced more than two dozen bird-themed limited edition prints, based on flora and fauna from British Columbia. 

 

Haida Owl Print by Glen Rabena

 

Glen began carving in Northwest Coast style in 1970. He moved to Quesnel and studied at the Gitanmaax School at Ksan between 1975-76. In 1978, he completed illustrations for The Birds of Ksan by Susan Marsden and the Gitksan Advisory Group. These became the foundation for his birds series of serigraphs. In 1986-87, he worked with Robert Davidson and Reg Davidson at Pepsico’s World Headquarters in Purchase, New York. Glen was adopted by Hereditary Haida Chief Claude Davidson in Massett, in November of 1987. In 1990, he was artist in residence with Reg Davidson at Headlands Centre for the Arts in San Francisco where they carved a 30-foot canoe. Since 1978 he has made his home on Hornby Island, BC.

 

Haida Goldfinch by Glen Rabena



Printmaking Terms January 27, 2014 18:05

Here at Native Art Prints, we sell a variety of graphic works. The act of printing consists of transferring ink to any surface by means of mechanical pressure. This is a general definition, but it applies to the silkscreen, giclee, lithograph, and digital prints that we carry. Screenprinting became an established art form within the Northwest Coast Native market in the late 1970s as institutions such as the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art and Emily Carr University began promoting printmaking courses to the First Nations community. Artists who are now considered to be masters in the field - such as Robert Davidson, Beau Dick, Joe David, and Lyle Wilson - were among the first to begin experimenting with prints in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

 

Alano Edzerza Brothers Print

 

                                                                                               Alano Edzerza's Brothers Giclée Print

 

We have included some general printmaking terms that are regularly used within the Northwest Coast Native art market below:

 

Limited Edition Print - Any print that is signed and numbered

Open Edition Print - A print that is not numbered, or "limited", in its production. Open edition prints may be signed, but the number of them produced is often unknown

Giclée Print - This term is derived from the French verb gicler meaning "to squirt". In printmaking, this term is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with high quality paper or treated canvas. Giclées in the Northwest Coast Native art market are often limited edition

Silkscreen Print - Also known as a "serigraph", this type of print is made through a stencil method of printmaking in which a design is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and then ink forced through the mesh onto the printing surface

Lithograph - A type of print that requires no etching or stencils but is formed through the process of printing from a plane surface (such as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent. This process results in a high level of detail and can produce works that appear to be hand-drawn or sketched

AP Print - Any print designated as an "artist proof". Artist Proofs are produced at the same time as a limited edition run and are usually 10% the size of the limited edition run from which they originate. AP prints are often given to the artist for personal use, but it is common for these to enter the market as well. They usually carry the same value as limited edition prints, but some people consider them to be more valuable

Printer's Proof - Also known as a "proof print" or "PP", these are small and often numbered editions produced before a large limited edition printing to check quality and design. These are often kept by the printing house, but are occasionally given to the artist

Remarque - A personalized drawing or symbol on a run of prints. Included as a special edition to the title, date, and number of a print, the remarque often adds value to a work


Northwest Coast Indian Artists Guild Series 1977 January 24, 2014 19:14

The 1977 Northwest Coast Indian Artists Guild Series was one of the first projects and publications on contemporary Northwest Coast design. Native Art Prints is constantly striving to attain prints from this series to pass on to our customers. Originally released at the Vancouver Art Gallery and promoted through a catalogue produced by the federal Canadian Indian Marketing Services, the guild graphics collection was generated and organized by the artists themselves.

 

Northwest Coast Artist Guild 1978 Cover

 

The series included graphic artists such as Robert Davidson, Joe David, Gerry Marks, and Francis Williams who are now considered to be amongst the best designers of modern Northwest Coast Art. Many of the prints included in this collection were identified as iconic soon after publication. Screen-printing programs were offered during the early years at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast art in Hazelton and established an interest among the artists and the potential for prints in the emerging market. For the first few years, because of the insignificant values the prints were being sold for, the artists were producing very large editions. Over time, galleries replaced tourist shops and graphics began to earn a respected position in the fine art market - and the artists began to realize that the only way to make the art collectable was to make smaller editions.

 

Double-Finned Killerwhale by Robert Davidson

 

 

The Guild Series was produced in small editions on archival paper and played with grander scale images. In the words of Robert Davidson: “It was time to take prints from the back bedroom to the living room.” Native Art Prints has the above print - Raven-Finned Killerwhale by Robert Davidson - available for sale. A second series of prints was released in 1978 which did very well, and a third was released in 1979. These three publication projects established printmaking as a standard mode of production for First Nations artists on the West Coast.