NATIVE(X) Winter Break

Hello! I’m not too good about this routine blog posting deal so I’ve got a bunch of exciting info for you from December and January. I’ll start with winter break.

Initially, I had a goal to start selling Native American artwork online by January, but things got crazy and we are now shooting for late February. Hold me to that, PLEASE! Our initial launch into Native American art will be with esteemed Vancouver, BC artist Todd Baker. He is a member of the Squamish tribe and lives on tribal land in West Vancouver. We initially met over the internet and decided that a face-to-face meeting would be best.

My supportive mother and I drove to Vancouver, BC on a lovely freezing-rain January day at 6:30am. (Mom had never been to Vancouver and her motherly instincts led her to believe that I couldn’t make the drive alone). We left Portland, passed through Seattle where conditions eventually cleared, navigated the Canadian customs, and arrived at our destination by 1pm.

Todd and I initially met over an introductory email and after exchanging more emails and phone calls for a week before we decided to meet up at Todd’s home/studio in West Vancouver. In this day and age with all the weird cyber creeps out there neither of us had any idea what to expect and shared a bit of pre-meeting anxiety. Those worries were soon forgotten as Todd proved to be a generous host. We went upstairs to Todd’s second floor studio where he showcases numerous art pieces including everything from prints to cast iron sculptures.

Footage of Todd speaking about his art, his tribe, and his background will be edited and embedded on our website after this month.

After arranging a custom NATIVE(X) print order, we left the community to make the long journey back to Portland. We took a little detour through Stanley Park then proceeded to get lost in downtown Vancouver until a nice construction worker directed us to 99 south. We finally made it back to Portland at 10:30pm and declared it a good day’s work. Thanks Mom.

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Todd’s Bio (http://www.nativeonline.com/toddsbio.html):

“One of Canada’s foremost First nation artists, Todd Baker is the grandson of the (late) great leader and speaker Chief Khot-la-cha (Chief Simon Baker) of the Coast Salish tribe ‘The Squamish Nation’ located in the beautiful city of Vancouver.

With honor and by request he began drawing for his tribe in his preteens and had ‘The National Living Treasure’ Bill Reid critiqued his ­first instrumental crest design, and instead of using his thunderbird design as the new logo for the Squamish tribe, he went straight to a limited edition and hasn’t looked back.  Since then he has done numerous pieces for institutions and organizations around the world. These include limited editions for the Peace Federation of Canada, Teachers Federation of B.C., Canadian Lacrosse association, design work for the Heart disease, Diabetes, and Heart and Stroke foundation, the Cancer Society, the Kids fund and the Vancouver Opera House. And his design work can be found around the world.

Although thoroughly enjoying his work here, Mr. Baker’s heart was in fashion. This passion drove him to begin school in Los Angeles and New York. While attending school at these prestigious institutions he was honored with a trip to Paris for being the most accomplished artist of the school year. He began a new career as a fashion designer and worked for design houses such as Donna Karan and the Gap, and CAD design work for Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, and Lacoste. After studying and working for 9 years in Paris, London, and New York, Todd ­finally came home to his family. Upon his return his dream has been to carry on a cultural tradition of bringing knowledge to the people thru the looking glass of the northwest coast native art and its legends. Through his art, Mr. Baker has indeed given much to the world.”

 

 

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