A First Nations carving project comes to the Langley Centennial Museum on Monday and Tuesday

Master carver shares secrets in Langley

A Squamish artist will spend two days creating in Langley.

The same artist who created a 10-foot yellow cedar carving of a bobcat for Brookswood Secondary will be sharing his creativity and carving secrets with the public in Langley next week.

Xwalacktun (born Rick Harry) is a member of the Squamish Nation who is an internationally recognized carver.

He will be continuing his work on a house post project during a stop over at the Langley Centennial Museum next Monday and Tuesday, and hopes people will come by to visit him, said the museum’s arts and heritage curator Kobi Christian.

“The community is encouraged to drop by… see the project develop, ask questions, and chat with the artist on site,” Christian added.

Xwalacktun was born and raised in Squamish, and given his indigenous name by his father, Pekultn, who was a hereditary chief, originally from the Seymour Creek North Vancouver area.

This artist gained his skills and education from Emily Carr College of Art and Capilano College, but also feels he learned a lot through trial and error.

Some of his well-known pieces include a welcome figure at Whistler’s Peak 2 Peak Gondola and the thunderbird and serpent on the Squamish Nation overpass on the Sea to Sky Highway. He is also known for the numerous and continuing projects he has done with a large number of schools, including the Brookswood piece.

In addition to this, Xwalacktun carved two sets of yellow cedar doors for BC Hydro’s Burnaby and Vancouver offices, and Harrison Hot Springs Resort commissioned him to create a set of doors placed at the entrance of its spa.

“It is just a way of life for me,” Xwalacktun said.

“I was inspired from the get-go and just never stopped. I enjoy what my hands could do and people appreciate it: my mother, my father, my community. The work pays for itself in the end if you do it right, if you put your heart and your soul into it.”

The master carver will start carving a house post that showcases his culture’s stories and his talents on Monday, Aug. 15 and Tuesday, Aug. 16 starting both days at 11 a.m.

He was a recent participant in the Langley Centennial Museum’s Tradition and Innovation in First Nations Art exhibit, which closed in July, with a carved door and mixed-media paper and wood sculpture.

The museum is located at 9135 King St., in Fort Langley. For more, call 604-532-3536.


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