First Nations Canadian

Native art in the northwest coast of North America refers to a diverse collection of cultures, legends, and artistic styles spanning the 30,000 kilometres of coastal British Columbia, Vancouver Island, and Alaska. We host artists from British Columbia and Vancouver Island, representing the Heiltsuk, Tlingit, Coast Salish, Haida, Haisla, and Kwak-waka-wakw.

While there are similarities in the general appearance of a variety of North American Native art and jewellery, each artist’s stylizations are unique. These artistic distinctions are passed on along family and clan lineages. One such example amongst our artists is the Helin family. Alex Helin began learning the art of wood carving from his father, Bill Helin, and continued to apprentice with his father for a number of years to create jewellery pieces in the tradition of his Tsimshian ancestors. Alex’s aunt, Leanne Helin, learned engraving techniques in Tsimshian Native designs from her brother, Bill Helin.

Similarly, each clan has its dominant and often distinctive animal legend, which appears in its art. Sometimes a certain colour is prominent, such as Joe Jack’s Coast Salish Indian paintings, which incorporate strong red accents.

Artists Include:

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