Indigenous Artist Creates Totem Pole

By Catherine Hansen
July 11, 2018 - 1:31pm Updated: July 11, 2018 - 5:43pm

PRINCE GEORGE - Hours of painstaking and precise work has gone into Lenard Paquette's latest creation. The aboriginal artist in residence at the Two Rivers Art Gallery is close to finishing a totem pole.  Paquette works most weekdays in the upstairs Maker Lab space.  He says carving "takes him to a spiritual work where I can walk softly."

Paquette's presence is mutually beneficial to the Art Gallery.  Managing Director Carolyn Holmes says "Lenard has a spot to work and he can work on really big projects that he may not have the space to work on at home,  and then he gets to engage with the public.  Tourists love Lenard,  he can tell lots of stories."

Paquette learned his skill in jail 45 years ago and has since used indigenous art to connect and teach anyone willing to learn. He can often be found leading workshops with students teaching beading and other skills.

Each piece Paquette works on is special and unique and holds a piece of the artist himself. He figures he has spent over a thousand hours on this yellow cedar pole,  which will soon be shipped to a buyer in Toronto. 


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