Northwest Coast art is a form requiring patience and time.
Lots of it.
And there is a reason for that – time-honoured cultural, traditions, stories, myths, are deeply embedded in the mindset of the various First Nations people that inhabit British Columbia.
Northwest Coast art is a mirror reflection of those traditions, stories and myths.
That is why budding young Northwest Coast artists study under someone older than they are, someone who is recognized as having the wisdom, the skills to exemplify everything about his people and their traditions through art – whether it be carving, making jewellery, painting.
The tradition of the elders teaching the younger generation is a time-honoured tradition, thousands of years old, practiced by indigenous people all over the world.
Latham Mack, 38, is a Nuxalk First Nations artist from Bella Coola.
He already one of the outstanding carvers of his generation, studied under Dempsey Bob, Ken McNeil and Stan Bevan, all masters of Northwest Coast art.
Mack’s exceptional talent and skills were recognized while still attending the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, B.C. He won a YVR Foundation scholarship for young and emerging First Nations artists of $5,000 and later on won it again. He was graduated with honours from the school.
His works are found in collections – private and public – around the world – UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.