Posts Tagged “Roy Henry Vickers”

Roy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the classRoy Henry Vickers speaking to the class


Today we had the honor of hearing the artist Roy Henry Vickers talk to the class. Roy is energetic, enthusiastic and totally engrossing in his speeches. He covered topics ranging from his life history to design. Roy had a way of capturing the attention of his audience with a gentle, yet responsive tone and always was sensitive to his audience. I know that a few times during the presentation he answered questions that I had without me even having to ask them. One of these questions was about where he got such amazing story telling skills. Roy confided to us that he gained these skills from two people, one person being the poet and scholar Chief Dan George and the other person being a gentleman who spoke in his village when he was younger. Roy said that Chief Dan George taught him to speak “from here”, pointing to his chest. Roy also mentioned that one of his elders taught him to speak from the heart, because when you speak “from here”, you speak to others “right here.”

Roy went on to discuss his gallery, the Eagle Aerie Gallery, in Tofino; his family and children; and some of his key prints. Roy described his experiences with tears and laughter. Roy described his prints in tones of emotion and reminiscence. Roy touched upon various issues that are close to his heart, such as the protection of the rivers and waters in the area from potentially destructive influences such as the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project and the suspended Shell Coalbed Methane development. Roy said something that is true about the rivers–they are the lifeblood of the people. Kill or polute these rivers and you seriously injure the traditional ways of the first nations, possibly forever.

Roy went on to talk about what makes a print valuable and even what makes a print an original work of art. He said that when you make an edition, especially your first edition, your reputation is on the line. To me, he impressed upon me to make my first edition a high quality one and never another cheap old giclee edition.

Tomorrow he will be discussing prints and computer design. Stay tuned.

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Dean Heron, Stan Bevan and Harold Demetzer

Dean Heron, Stan Bevan and Harold Demetzer

Today was the first day back for us students at Freda Diesing School. Many were busy over the break working on their masks. I was busy, too; but not as much as some others. Dean confirmed today that there will be a presentation from Roy Henry Vickers on Thursday and Friday. This is not to be missed. We were told that Roy felt inspired by Harold’s presentation a few weeks ago. Roy is a superb public speaker and during his last official talk that I attended, in 2008, I was quite taken in. This should be a good talk.

Also, I learned today that we will be making deer hide drums this semester. Very cool.

One more thing is that we are making plans for our year end show in April. Stay tuned for this.

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Tom Daniels and Roy Henry Vickers

Tom Daniels and Roy Henry Vickers

Harold started the day off by concluding the presentation on NW coast artists.  Again, it was a good presentation, with a bit of a surrealistic quality due perhaps to the fact that one half of the presentation was on Dempsey Bob, who was sitting at the side, observing the whole presentation.

Harold started the day where he finished off yesterday, talking about the Gitksan artists, covering Ken Mowatt, Robert Jackson Jr, Glen Wood, Phil Janze and Earl Muldon–aka Earl Muldoe.  Ken Mowatt, born Sept 2, 1944, taught at the Kitanmaax (K’san) school in Hazelton during the 70’s.  Ken has been a carver for over 40 years and is known for many works around Hazelton, including many of the poles at K’san.  Robert Jackson Jr was born in 1948 in Port Edward, and grew up with Dempsey Bob.  Robert’s story was one of “greatness, loss and recovery.”

Harold highlighted Glen Wood, who worked with Dempsey on the eagle pole next to the courthouse in Rupert.

Eagle Pole. carvers: Dempsey Bob and Glen Wood

Eagle Pole. carvers: Dempsey Bob and Glen Wood

Harold went on to talk about Phil Janze.  Phil was a teacher at K’san and is a noted jeweler and carver.  Harold discussed Earl Muldon, aka Muldoe, who was one of the most notable pole carvers from K’san.  Earl has a long legacy of teaching and excellence.  Earl was named an officer of the Order of Canada on June 30, 2010.

The Tahltan Wolves: Dempsey Bob, Ken McNeil and Stan Bevan

This was a particularly special part of the presentation, considering that two of the above persons were at the presentation while Harold was talking about them.  Dempsey’s legacy was that of an innovator and a teacher.  Dempsey learned much of what he knew from Freda Diesing and passed along much of what he knows to Ken and Stan, his nephews.  Dempsey, Stan and Ken are all part of the wolf clan, and are all Tahltan.

On an interesting note, Roy Henry Vickers was there listening to much of the presentation.  Roy is most definitely a key part of NW coast art history.  Roy, a Tsimshian, Haida, Helstiuk, Scot by birth, went to K’san with Dempsey in the 70’s.  Although, anything that I may know about Roy is probably already on Wikipedia, I will say that he is well known for his silk screen prints, literature and great public speaking skills.  Roy will be coming to do a talk to the class early next month.  The preliminary dates are the 10th and 11th of March.

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