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Sterling silver, Engraved
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Sterling silver, Engraved
|Dimensions||1.25 x 1 "|
Alvin Mack was born in Bella Coola, British Columbia in 1956 and is an accomplished and well-respected artist of the Nuxalk Nation. He is the last son of renowned carver William Mack and cites his father as one of his greatest influences. At the age of 13 he began to experiment with carving cedar and eventually became successful in producing quality monumental totem poles and ceremonial items containing traditional Nuxalk art forms.
Wanting to learn more, Alvin enrolled in ‘Ksan School of Northwest Coast Art, where he was taught under master carvers Earl Muldoe, Walter Harris, Vernon Stephens and Ken Mowatt, graduating at the top of his class in 1985.
Upon his return to Bella Coola, Alvin immersed himself in the culture of his Nuxalk ancestry, translating the Nuxalk mythology into every project. Mack considers creating art akin to culture, and sees no distinction between the two. He is passionate about his Nuxalk heritage and sees art as playing an essential role in keeping traditions alive and educating people about Nuxalk history.
Recognized for creating outstanding artworks in various mediums that are innovating Nuxalk traditional design, Alvin is highly regarded in the Nuxalk community and has mentored dozens of young artists through his work at the local Acwsalcta School. He has led many major projects in his community that can be seen in the beautiful valley of Bella Coola, B.C.
“I always go back to our history, and that history has so much lost information that needs to be rebuilt in our community. So the subject for me is to bring that history out: who we are, where we’re from, and we can let the world know ‘this is us’ through our art.”
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Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Sterling silver
The Frog symbolizes luck, prosperity, stability and healing. As a communicator, Frogs connect with the world on land and under water. This figure is often carved into totem poles to prevent them from falling over.
Other works by this artist
Alder wood, Cedar bark, Acrylic paint
“The Rainwater is part of a dance we’ve had for generations called the Thunder Dance and it’s the most powerful dance we have in our Nation. If you think, when the thunder comes, rain always comes right after.” – Alvin Mack, 2020
18 x 8 x 7″ (including cedar bark)
Alder wood, Acrylic paint
Spoons and ladles were traditionally made from either cedar wood or the horn of a mountain sheep, and their handles were carved with family crest images. Historically, these exquisitely sculptured objects were primarily created by people in Northern Nations, and were highly sought after by other nations. During potlatches [festive gatherings], cedar ladles decorated with the hosting family’s crests were used to serve food, while the elaborately carved mountain sheep spoons were distributed as gifts among the many guests.
Today, spoon and ladle productions are based on these traditional objects and are meant to be both objects of function and display. In addition to traditional mediums such as cedar wood, goat or mountain sheep horn, many modern-day spoons and ladles are constructed of gold, silver and pewter.