Renowned Tahltan-Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob opened his latest exhibition in Whistler last week in the presence of several school children who attended from Tahltan territory in northwest B.C.
Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob, is a retrospective display of the carver’s career from the 1970’s to the present and features a selection of his masks, panels, wall sculptures, vessels, prints, regalia, robes and jewellery from private and public collections across North America.
The exhibition, a co-production of the Audian Art Museum and McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Ontario, will also tour the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Kelowna Art Gallery.
Bob, a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2021, resides in Terrace and is one of the founding instructors at Coast Mountain Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, named after the Haida carver who was also his mentor.
Bob’s works are featured in museum collections and galleries around the world, including the Columbia Museum of Ethnology, the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Ethnology in Japan, and Canada House in London. In 2013, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada — one of the nation’s highest civilian honours.
Eight high school students from Dease Lake School and the Tahltan School were taken to attend the opening of the exhibition by the First Nation’s industry partners Skeena Resources Limited, who are also a supporting sponsor of the exhibition.
The educational trip which took place from March 30 to April 2nd saw Skeena Resources provide transportation from Dease Lake to Whistler, hotel accommodation and meals for the students.
“Such opportunities, like meeting Bob and exploring his art, will empower the students as Tahltan artists and encourage them to dream big,” said Freda Campbell, Skeena Resources’ community relations manager who coordinated the field trip.
“This initiative is an example of the kind of legacy a resource development company can leave in the Territory of the Indigenous peoples they work in,” she added.