Alan Weir was born to the Raven clan of Old Masset in 1981. Alan has been apprenticing with the well known Haida artist Christian White. He carves in the black slate called argillite and wood. He also loves to paint traditional designs. He gathers and preserves food on Haida Gwaii where he has lived all of his life. He participates in cultural events by singing and dancing.
My art explains how I feel about the different crests and how I feel inside about our culture. My ideas come to me when I am awake but I am in something similar to a dreams state. My art training was done in the traditional way of watching other artists work and then trying the techniques myself. Christian White, Cooper Wilson, Fred Davis, Vern Williams Jr., and Gene Davidson are among the artists I watched and learned from. The pictures of work done by the old masters inspire my work.” Alfred belongs to the Raven clan, St’lang`laanas of Old Masset. His mother is Ann Davidson of old Masset. He is currently married and resides in Old Masset with his wife Cheryl. Alfred was born August 17, 1964, and has been carving the black slate called argillite since 1995. His art has been exhibited in museums and galleries such as Haida Gwaii Museum a Qay’llnagaay, Rainbows Gallery in QC City, Sarah’s Haida Art and Jewellery in Old Massett, and the Prince Rupert Museum Shop in Prince Rupert. Alfred also does some wood carving. He works seasonally clam digging, in construction and at a local sawmill.
Brenda Edenshaw was born in 1960 to parents Lee and Janet Edenshaw. Brenda comes from the Raven clan from Skedans Village in the South Moresby end of Haida Gwaii. She now resides in Old Massett and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and walking on the beach. Brenda started weaving under the instructions of the Haida weaver April Churchill Davis. She has made cedar bark baskets, hats, vases, and clothing for dolls. She makes fine Haida wear such as button blankets, vests, and tunics. Brenda spends most of her time weaving cedar bark and sells her art at Sarah’s Haida Arts & Jewellery Gallery.
Carmen Goertzen (Ttjung nungkingass) “He who is heard of all over or is well known,” was born in 1963 to Raven clan Haida mother. He was raised and educated in Masset, Haida Gwaii, where he succeeded his uncle Claude Davidson (the father of Robert and Reg Davidson) as the Chief of the Yahgu 7laanaaas Dadens clan. He started carving as a child and became a professional carver in the 1980s. He has been strongly influenced by his cousins Robert and Reg Davidson and has created his own distinctive style that is sought after by many collectors and professionals. Carmen Goertzen is known and respected for his deeply carved and traditional Haida designs in gold, silver, and other materials.
Chris Russ was born August 9th, 1956 to Haida parents. His mother’s name is June and his father is the Hereditary Chief of Old Masset Reynold Russ. The Kincolth Nishga people adopted his grandmother. His clan crests are Wolf, Eagle and Killer whale. Chris started carving in 1975 and is an accomplished argillite sculpture. He has sold his work all around the world to private collectors. In May 2005 he had one of his argillite sculptures in an argillite show at Masters Gallery in Calgary Alberta. He has learned from all the other argillite carvers and he has other family members who also carve the black slate called argillite. Many of his family members are also weavers. “I want to be recognized for my carvings and pass this knowledge on to my nephew. I am going to build a carving studio this coming year. I love to carve argillite. I enjoy walking and being with nature. I get most of my ideas from my spiritual connection to nature. I have two teenage children who keep us very busy. I also carve gold, silver, and a little wood, but I like carving argillite best. I am willing to try and fill any orders I get for carvings.”
I started carving when I was 17. Some of the other artists got me carving. I used to sell pieces for several artists like Donald Edgars, Fred Davis, Martin Williams, John and Harold Yeltatzie, and Richard and Louis Widen. They all helped me to get started carving. I prefer to carve argillite, but I love to carve ivory as well. I carved a large walrus tusk with many killer whale and ravens intertwined on it. It has deer antlers supporting it on a large argillite base with many carved killer whale figures on the base. I also carve wood, gold, silver, and copper. I’ve done six limited edition silkscreen prints a Wolf, a pregnant Raven, a killer whale with a raven, a bear, a double eagle frog drum design, and a young eagle. I have also done some designs for some button blankets. I do a lot of Raven sculptures and Killer Whales because these are my clan crests. I belong to the Kun Laanasclan from White Creek. When I’m not carving I like to hang out with my kids, try and relax but I don’t really know when I’m not carving. I really only have a good relationship with my art. I don’t seem to have time for relationships with people. I’m building a longhouse as a teaching studio, gallery space. gathering place and my home. I guess it’s for everything. Life is pretty good for me; I like to see my kids doing artwork and being interested in their culture. I love to carve and I’m happy when I am able to follow through with projects I start such as my new longhouse studio. I have been selling my artwork everywhere. ( Alaska, California, Arizona, New York and across Canada} I sell to private collectors, Museums and Art Galleries. In May 2005 I had five of my sculptures in an argillite show held at the Masters Gallery in Calgary Alberta. In June 2008 I participated in another art show at the Master’s Gallery. A new book called Breathing Stone written by Carol Sheehan on up and coming argillite artists was launched in 2008. I had many of my pieces featured in this book. As well as pictures of a large sculpture being carved from beginning to end. I was born on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) February 16th1962 to two Haida parents. My mother was of the Raven clan. She died when I was young so my grandmother and grandfather along with my dad raised me. They taught me about food gathering and living off the land. My biological father is a great-grandson of the well-known Haida carver Charles Edenshaw. I was sent to residential school when I was in my teens and when I returned to Old Massett I started carving the black slate called argillite. By the age of sixteen, I was supporting myself by selling other artists carvings and then these artists encouraged me to start to learn how to carve. They helped me make the tools I needed and showed me how to improve on my pieces. I started to sell my pieces to gift shops galleries, museums, and private collectors from all over the world. I have lots of children who are very important to me. I have to work very hard at my artwork to support my children. I have four boys and three girls. I also have four granddaughters and two grandsons. I love to carve, mostly argillite and ivory, sometimes wood, gold, and silver. I love to shoot basketballs with my kids. In August 2009 I helped my son Donnie on carving a 30foot wood totem pole which was raised in Old Masset. In November 2009 I completed an 8-foot totem pole in wood and had several young artists under my mentorship. This pole was raised at the entrance to Old Massett in June 2010. My artwork is my spiritual side. It is my beliefs and my strength. Ideas come to me and I am able to transform them into my art. I spend a great deal of my time helping to teach others to carve. My goal is to finish my longhouse next year and teach young people who are interested in what I know about carving and designing.
David is from the Raven clan of the Old Masset Haid village on Haida Gwaii. David carves the metals gold, silver, and copper. He also carves the black stone argillite and wood. David is an excellent painter on canvas and on his wood carvings. David harvests local food and gathers wood for heating. He is is the father of two young children. His father is from Hydaburg, Alaska, and David and his family often travel there to visit. David started to do artwork at a very young age and is very good at everything he does.
I was born August 27th, 1965 in Queen Charlotte City Haida Gwaii. I am a Haida from Old Massett and have lived on Haida Gwaii all my life and still reside in Old Massett. My father, Morris White, was Chief of the Edinsu (Edenshaw) Eagle Clan of Kiusta until he passed away in 1997. His father, Geoffrey White, was the grandson of the great carver, Charles Edenshaw. My father gave up fishing when I was a little boy and began carving silver, argillite, gold, and wood. I witnessed Robert Davidson’s first Pole raising in 1969, as we lived right next door. I did not begin carving until after I finished High School. I started carving small things in 1985, part-time doing carpentry, and helping my father and brothers on a red cedar canoe and carving shed the rest of the time. I witnessed every major Pole raising on Haida Gwaii in the last several years. I began apprenticing under Master carver Jim Hart around 1990-91 up until 2000, working on several major projects. I worked on several wood poles, including one we completed in San Francisco. I also worked extensively on his longhouse, the Frog Constellation, (a huge sculpture in Red Cedar), and some smaller projects. In 1995, I worked with my brothers Chris White, Todd and brothers-in-laws, on the Chief Edenshaw House Frontal Pole which was carved and raised in 1995. This project was led by Chris White, Master Carver. I worked for Jim Hart on the Edenshaw Memorial Pole, which was raised in front of this longhouse in August of 1999. In the year 2000, I worked in Skidegate for Tim Boyko and Qay’linagaay Heritage Centre Society on a pole that was raised in June 2001. I spend most of my time now carving jewellery in silver and gold. I love to do my artwork and spend time with my four children and one grandchild. I have been helping my bother Christian construct a large traditional longhouse which is used for teaching and gallery space. In the spring of 2010, I finished a small wood pole that welcomes people to Masset.
Donnie Edenshaw is a member of the Skedans Raven clan. He was born in Queen Charlotte City, Haida Gwaii September 15th, 1978. He was raised in Old Massett, where he continues to live with his family, wife Beverly and two children Mya and Sara. As a young child, he had a very strong connection with his Haida culture. He grew up on the land: fishing salmon, hunting deer, and digging clams. He was drawn to Haida singing and dancing, and he joined the K’a.asdsnee dance group which Claude Davidson and his wife Sarah held in their home. Even at a young age, his talents were recognized. He performed at Expo 86 as well as being featured in the National Geographic in 1987. Donnie’s interest in his traditions made for a natural transition into carving. He started carving in 1989, at age eleven under the guidance of his father Cooper Wilson. He practiced by doing pencil drawings of argillite pendants that his father made, and then eventually started to carve his own. Donnie’s major works include many argillite sculptures that are in private collections around the world. He has also established his name as a wood carver. His first large piece being an 11-meter totem pole raised as the tallest pole in Japan at the time, which carved with his Uncle Guujaaw. He has complete many poles of his own since then and one is a 50-foot pole, which stands in front of the Community Hall in Old Massett. He has been called to perform songs and dances individually and with groups at many local feasts and national and international functions. Aside from Expo 86 he has performed in Japan twice, as well as Hawaii, Alaska, and New York City. In New York, he danced at the American Museum of Natural History which featured two of his art pieces in The Totems to Turquoise show. Donnie has accepted guidance and has learned from many Haida carvers, including Cooper Wilson, Chris White, Fed Davis, Jim Hart, Vernon Williams and he studied masterworks of Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, and John Robson. He is now instrumental in inspiring and passing on this tradition to the next generation of young carvers.
Dorcas Bell White lives in the Haida Village of Old Massett. She is a mother of four and has one grandchild. Her parents are both Haida and she is married to fine artist Derek White. She is an accomplished artist and excels in weaving cedar bark and making Haida clothing such as button blankets, vests, dance aprons, and headbands. Dorcas helps her husband Derek market his artwork
I was born October 18th 1983 in Queen Charlotte City on Haida Gwaii. My mom is Raven clan from the village of Skedans in South Moresby. I had four older brother and sisters and four younger brothers and sister. I graduated from George M. Dawson high school in Masset in 2001 with no problem. I was on the senior boys soccer team which had started in mid September and ended in November, out team came seventh that year. Now the main sport I play is basketball. After graduation I started to work on my dads carvings with him. I would shape the carvings out and do the inlays. Ater two months of that I got bored of carving and wanted to go back to school so one month later I was back in school in Vancouver. After that I did four original paintings for Sarah’s gallery and realized how much money was to be made and the joy my art brought to the people buying my art so I decided to start carving again and that was when I did my first argillite totem pole. I would then do several totem poles after the first along with argillite boxes, bowls. two rattles, plates, sculptures and so forth. I would say that getting back into carving was probably the best thing I could have done. I had got a lot of my inspiration from my brother Donnie. I had a lot of people to learn from, my dad taught me for the first year to year and a half. After that I had started to get little lessons from people like Ben Davidson, Christian White who helped me cut out my Raven chief rattle and I got and still get help from my brother Donnie. I had four pieces in a art show at the Master Gallery in Calgary in May 2005. I had additional pieces in another show at the Masters Gallery in June 2008. I am featured in the book called Breathing Stone that was launched at that show. I took a metal carving class in Vancouver and now am carving gold and silver jewellery. I did my first limited edition silk screen in 2009 of a Raven. I would like to thank Sarah Hillis because if it wasn’t for her I most likely wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today.
Keith was born September 22 1967to a Haida mother. He is from the Kit’tans eagle clan of Old Massett. Keith is an automobile mechanic. His first Haida artwork was done by sandblasting Japanese glass fishing floats with Haida designs. He started apprenticing with Haida artist Reggie Davidson in 2005 learning how to do wood carvings. He also has been taking art classes from well-known Haida artist Robert Davidson. Keith’s paintings on hand made drums are very well done and special. Keith hopes to start carving the black slate called argillite. One of the argillite carvers Martin Williams is one of his mentors. Keith likes to gather local food. He has two boys and one girl. Keith spends a lot of time looking in books at the old Haida artwork. He hopes to be able to do art full time in the future.
Leon Ridley is a Haida artist born in Masset, Haida Gwaii, or the Queen Charlotte Islands. He apprenticed for wood carving with the Master Haida artists Reggie Davidson and Jim Hart after graduating from the local high school in 1989. He carved a 12-foot wood totem pole that now stands outside his old high school. Leon taught other young artists wood carving skills while carving this pole. Currently, he is carving a 13-foot wood totem pole, commissioned by a private buyer in Ontario, Canada.
Maxine Edgars is a Haida artist weaver living in Masset Haida Gwaii. Maxine is from the Raven clan and she weaves cedar bark, spruce roots, raven’s tale, and chilikat style weaving. Maxine does fine cedar bark hats and baskets and she has many of her pieces in Sarah’s Haida Arts and Jewellery Gallery in Old Massett.
Myles Edgars was born in 1958 in Queen Charlotte City on Haida Gwaii to Haida parents Jimmy and Minnie Edgars. He has been carving since he was 13 years old. He learned how to make his own tools form Richard Yeltatzie a young artist who died in a plane crash in 1974. He used to babysit for his sister and her husband Steven Collison who was an artist at that time and who showed Myles how to carve and improve on his carvings as he completed each piece. Myles has lived on Haida Gwaii all his life. He enjoys carving the black slate known as argillite and makes many beaufiful pieces every year. Mostly pendnat size pieces in argillite
Neil was born to Haida Raven Clan mother Sandy and Haida Raven Clan father Carmen Geortzen. He apprenticed in wood and argillite carving with Haida artist Christian White and recently started carving silver. Neil goes commercial fishing in the summer months. He is a very accomplished artist for his young age of 20 years.
My name is Sean Brennan. I was born December 13, 1982 at Grace Memorial Hospital in Vancouver, BC. I am the son of Haida argillite carver Richard Widen from Old Masset, Haida Gwaii. In my early years I grew up on Vancouver Island, but now I live in Old Masset with my two daughters Camelia and Ryleigh Jade. I have been working in the forestry industry trying to protect the cedar on Haida Gwaii. I want to carve argillite full time. I have carved many panels, pipes, totem poles and sculptures in argillite. I had my pieces in two art show at the Master’s Gallery in Calgary. My argillite pieces are also in the book Breathing Stone by author Carol Sheehan.
Shaun was born in 1978 to Haida mother Tina. He is one of the Yathlanaas clan from the village of Dadens on Langara Island, Haida Gwaii or Queen Charlotte Island. His mother makes fine button blankets. His father is Haida and is from the same clan as his mother. His dad, Monty Stuart Burton, is a fine gold, silver, and wood carver. His great grandfather was the late well-known argillite carver Charles Edenshaw. Shaun started carving the black slate argillite 6 years ago under the mentorship of Donnie Edenshaw. He has spent the past 17 years commercial fishing, and over the past months, he has started to go logging commercially. He enjoys doing original paintings and carving wood. Shaun spends a great deal of time hanging around master carvers such as Reggie Davidson and Cooper Wilson to learn as much as he can about carving. In May 2005, Shaun had two of his argillite sculptures in a show at the Masters Gallery in Calgary, Alberta. He loves to gather food, such as hunting for deer, clam digging, fishing, picking seaweed, devilfish catching, and is a certified scuba diver. Shaun loves to spend time with his young daughter and son. Shaun hopes to become a master carver in the future.
Tashia Wilson is from the Raven Clan from Skedans Village in South Moresby end of Haida Gwaii. Tashia’s mother Brenda and her father Cooper and two of her brothers Donnie and Freddie are fine Haida artists. Tashia has been making clothing wear such as button blankets, vests, and tunics for the Sarah’s Haida Arts & Jewellery Gallery for many years. She is attending school for post-secondary education for business and hopes to run her own gallery one day
Theodore Bell was born in Haida Gwaii to an Eagle clan mother form the village of Kiusta. Excelling in art at an early age, he studied art at George M. Dawson Secondary School in Masset. In the 1990’s he began creating works in pencil, pencil crayon, and watercolor. Within a short period of time, his works were exhibited in the Sitka Spruce Gallery in Tlell and Sarah’s Haida Arts and Jewellery Gallery, both on Haida Gwaii. Theodore’s most recent works are acrylics on canvas that draw upon his experience of traditional Haida images and the natural history of his Island home. The inspiration for his paintings frequently come in dreams, which he hastily records in rough sketches before they find their way to his finished canvases. A prolific, full-time Artist, Theodore brings passion, innovation, and inspiration to his art, making the stories of Haida Gwaii come alive in vibrant canvasses.