Haida artist Robert Davidson’s remarkable prints, carvings and jewelry are known throughout the world. He has produced carvings for such centres as Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Dublin and Los Angeles.
It is fitting that he receive this award at this time, following the major retrospectives of his work mounted by both the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.
Robert Davidson learned the art of carving from his father and his grandfather. Since he raised the first totem pole in this century in his home village of Massett, Mr. Davidson has remained committed to using cultural knowledge to celebrate the present as well as to commemorate the past. His concern as an artist has always been to create images that all people can relate to, native and non-native alike.
Born in Alaska in 1946, Mr. Davidson moved to Massett the following year. He now lives near Vancouver and returns frequently to the Haida Gwaii to refresh his spirit.
Not only has Robert Davidson contributed to British Columbia and Haida culture through his artistic work, he has also helped to renew cultural practices such as dance by forming the Rainbow Creek Dancers, by speaking widely on Haida culture and by donating his time and art to charitable organizations.
He has established a tradition of community leadership and innovation which stands as an example for all.