The Bill Reid Gallery opening is wonderful…
I love Bill Reid art. I could stare at the Raven and the First Men, at the Museum of Anthropology for hours. And the Killer Whale in front of the Aquarium… that is Bill Reid too.
In 1990, I visisted Haida Gwaii, ancestral home of the Haida nation. On my hand I wear a gold eagle wrap ring, carved by Garner Moody, who apprenticed with Bill Reid in Haida Gwaii.
On Saturday May 10th, I attended the packed opening at the Bill Reid Gallery on Hornby Street. I missed the opening ceremonies at 10am, but we saw the 2pm ceremonial dance by dancers and drummers from Haida Gwaii, presided by artist Jim Hart, who is also known by his hereditary name of Chief Edenshaw. Charles Edenshaw was the great Haida carver of silver, gold and argillite, and it was his work that first inspired Reid to carve.
VANCOUVER – When Bill Reid art was chosen to adorn the $20
bill, it was a sign that the Haida artist had become a Canadian icon.
Now the organizers of the new Bill Reid gallery in downtown Vancouver
are hoping it will capitalize on the growing interest in art of the
Northwest Coast and catapult Reid to an international art superstar.
Jim Hart prepares the raven to be placed atop the “tribute to Bill
Reid” totem pole before the opening of the Bill Reid Gallery in
Stuart Davis/Vancouver Sun
think we could say already that he as the status of a national icon,”
said George MacDonald, an anthropologist and expert on Haida art who
was instrumental in bringing about the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest
“What we hope to do with this gallery is to make him
an international icon. In doing that, we're promoting Northwest Coast
culture and art as much as we're promoting Bill Reid as a practitioner
of that style.”