Auction features native artists

October 20, 2005, vol. 34, no. 4
By Marianne Meadahl

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A panel pipe carved out of a single piece of argillite inset with abalone shell, by Haida artist Lionel Samuels is one of more than 100 artworks to be featured at an auction called Objects of Bright Pride.

The stunning work is expected to be an event highlight at the auction of Northwest Coast art at the Pan Pacific Hotel on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.

Samuels grew up in Haida Gwaii and is the great grandson of a famous wood and argillite carver. He began carving at the age of nine, and at the age of 16, sold his first carvings on the streets of Victoria.

He later landed a job at the Royal British Columbia Museum, repairing old argillite carvings, before moving to Vancouver. As his reputation grew, Samuels was invited to be on Bill Reid's Haida war canoe, Lootas, for its ceremonial voyage to Haida Gwaii in 1987.

At about the same time he sold a carving to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., and since then, has consistently produced works in argillite for museums, collectors and major galleries around the world. Samuels currently resides in Victoria.

The auction is being held to benefit the Bill Reid foundation projects and the newly established Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Art Studies at SFU.

The auction will feature works created by numerous outstanding First Nations artists including: Bill Reid, Jim Hart, Robert Davidson, David Boxley, Corey Moraes, and Christian White. Works will include: masks, jewellery, wood carvings, clothing, furniture, as well as woven baskets and hats. It will be an opportunity to view and bid on works by internationally established and emerging artists.

The auctioneer will be Barry Scott of Maynards. An online auction catalogue is now available at

Tickets are $150 each or $120 each for a group of 10 or more, and include a First Nations-inspired buffet reception and live and silent auctions. For more information check the website or email .

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