Cole Speck – 31 – one of the youngest artists making a major impact on the Northwest Coast art scene.
He is part of a trend – young First Nations artists producing quality art more common to artists in their 50s and 60s.
The reasons are twofold – economics being the primary reason.
Today many Northwest Coast artists are working full time making a living from producing their art as the art genre is gaining widespread appreciation by collectors everywhere, including international art markets.
That resulted in many of the older artists selling their art to clients all over the world That demand and a limited supply created higher prices, also creating opportunities for younger and upcoming super talented artists.
Speck is one of those younger artists.
Born in 1991, He was raised on the ‘Namgis reserve on the island of Alert Bay in British Columbia.
Cole – started carving in his teens – comes from a strong cultural and artistic heritage. He the great grandson of late Chief John Speck of the Tlowitsis, whose father was the late Henry Speck Sr.
Like many counterparts Speck honours the old traditions and also pushing his art into contemporary realms.
Following traditions Speck apprenticed under older artists – the renowned master carvers – Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred.
Cole’s work has been exhibited in New York and Brazil.
Three years ago he won a major award as an emerging artist.
Cole was selected by the independent jury as the 2020 Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist.