National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21st, 2021

Strength, resilience and healing are to be celebrated as we recognize the significant challenges of both past and present on the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Today, and every day, we extend our acknowledgement and enormous respect for all Indigenous peoples of this country.

Each year, our gallery takes this opportunity to pay tribute to an individual artist and their voice.

Gryn White says, “I’m proud to be Haida, proud of my culture. Lots of people in the world don’t have an idea about their own culture. My culture is part of my home, my roots, part of who I am and how I define myself.”

Born in 1977, Gryn has achieved acclaimed for his Argillite carvings, jewelry and graphic designs. He’s a part of the Raven clan and takes the Bear, Killerwhale and Dogfish as his crests.

True to his Haida family lineage, Gryn has carried on the enduring tradition of Argillite carving. In the Vancouver Province newspaper dated October 17, 1971, an article entitled “The family that carves together…” described six members of the Lightbown family featuring Gryn’s grandparents Bill and Lavinia as well as his father Greg Lightbown White, and aunts and uncles. His grandmother Lavinia is the granddaughter of internationally-renowned carver Charles Edenshaw and basketry weaver Isabella Edenshaw.

“I began to see the rules of Haida design as deeply rooted in our culture. It gave me the understanding of what Charles Edenshaw and Tom Price had achieved, and what Bill Reid has restored to Haida art. They became my teachers.”

“I want to create contemporary Haida art within these traditional boundaries. I’m not much interested in coming up with a new form of Haida art. I want to honour and feel continuity with the past.”

On this momentous 25th anniversary, we thank Gryn White for his dedication to this artform and sharing his inspiring creations with all of us.

To view his entire collection in our gallery, please click here.