Virtual Author Talk with Vickie Jensen

Meet author Vickie Jensen virtually for an engaging and entertaining talk with a Q&A on her book Totem Pole Carving: Norman Tait, Bringing a Log to Life.

View the Interview Video here from December 6th, 2020

When: Sunday, December 6th, 2020 @ 11am PST | 2pm EST

Where: Online Zoom Meeting hosted by Coastal Peoples Gallery owner Svetlana Fouks

Attend: Register by sending your email address to [email protected] by November 21st

In 1985, photographer and writer Vickie Jensen spent 3 months with Norman and his crew of young carvers; Isaac Tait (son), Robert “Chip” Tait (brother), Hammy Martin and Wayne Young as she documented their combined artistic and technical processes in creating a monumental work of art.

During this virtual event, Vickie will take you on a journey with these carvers as they undertake the various stages of cutting, rounding, drawing and rough-cutting the figures, then finishing and raising the pole in ceremony for the BC Native Education Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“This pole taught all of us, especially me, the value of perseverance. We experienced a tremendous spiritual growth and a tighter family bonding which helped up to complete the pole. This book brings that all back. It is a monument to those who worked on the pole and who helped us with the ceremonies.” – Norman Tait 1992

Having spent years recovering traditional knowledge that informed his carving, Norman taught his crew how to make their own tools, carve, and design regalia, and together they practiced their stories and songs for the pole-raising ceremony.

“I feel as though I just brought up a whole family of kids and now they’re men. Your heart swells.” – Norman Tait (pg.155)

We’re celebrating the re-release of this book which features a new preface and additional details on Nisga’a artist Norman Tait (1941-2016).

Totem Pole Carving shares rich stories as well as the teachings of Tait as a historic artifact in created in real time.  Jensen captures the atmosphere of the carving shed, the conversations and problem-solving, the smell of fresh cedar wood chips, the blistered hands, the humor, and the ever-present feeling of cultural traditions taking place through photos and written word.

Generously illustrated with 125 captivating photographs, this book is a wealth of knowledge on a topic that has been rarely told with such depth and insight.

Author Vickie Jensen has written and published 50 books and counting in her career.  She has been collaborating with Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations communities since the early 1970s to document their lives, cultural endeavors and revitalize languages.

“I want to discover how things are created, talk to the people who do that work, find out how they learned – and then share that information with others” – Vickie Jensen

JOIN US for an adventurous & educational experience – we look forward to Zooming with you soon!

To read more on artist Norman Tait and view his current collection in our gallery, click here.

If you wish to purchase Totem Pole Carving in advance with or without attending this virtual event, please contact us at [email protected].

A totem pole carving book written by author Vickie Jensen