Erich Glendale – Summer 2024 Curator’s Choice

Few artists capture the essence of their Indigenous heritage with such precision and elegance as Erich Glendale.

His journey as an artist has been marked by a profound connection to his cultural roots and a commitment to excellence that resonates with each piece he creates.

Born in Campbell River in 1972, Erich hails from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Before settling in Nanaimo, his early life was spent in various parts of Canada, including Alberta and Ontario. In the early 1990s, he began to carve, initially focusing on yellow cedar, his preferred medium. Yellow cedar’s fine grain and smooth texture allow for intricate detailing, which has become a hallmark of Erich’s style. Over time, he also embraced red cedar, further diversifying his artistic repertoire.

His portfolio boasts a variety of small to medium-scale sculptures such as rattles, panels, small totem poles, paddles, and talking sticks. Each piece reflects his meticulous attention to detail and deep respect for the traditions of his people.

In 2006, Erich expanded his skill set by studying jewelry carving under the tutelage of famed Nuu-chah-nulth artist Gordon Dick. Working with sterling silver and gold, he brought the same level of craftsmanship to his jewelry as he did to his wood carvings.

Two of Erich’s most striking works are his Killerwhale Panel and Frog Panel. These pieces exemplify his masterful carving technique with their intricate design and remarkable depth of relief. By choosing to leave the panels unpainted, Erich allows the natural beauty of the cedar wood to take center stage, highlighting his flawless craftsmanship. The unadorned simplicity of the wood speaks volumes, showcasing the texture and grain that make each piece truly one-of-a-kind.

Erich’s realistic creation of this majestic creature commands attention and respect thereby making these masterpieces ideal centerpieces for any setting. Their impressive presence not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also celebrates and preserves Canadian First Nations art and culture.

If you wish to enrich your spaces with meaningful and distinguished art, Erich Glendale’s work offers an unparalleled opportunity. His pieces are not just decorative elements; they are embodiments of artistic mastery and cultural heritage.