Dean Heron is a West Coast artist who is drawing upon a lifelong passion of creating First Nation art to assist the development of Indigenous-focused initiatives across the province. Using applied skills and trades as a conduit, Dean and the Construction Foundation are facilitating community-developed and community-driven workshops.
What drew you to carving originally?
The first time I saw a catalogue of Dempsey Bob’s work from his solo exhibit, Carver of the Wolf Clan, at Grace Gallery in Vancouver. He is an artist that was/is instrumental on bringing the art form to the marketplace and he is a part of a group of artists that revived their culture through creativity. The work captured in that catalogue was astounding – I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. In that moment I wanted to learn to carve. 10 years later I was sitting in front of Dempsey as he was talking about his art, career, and culture.
What has been the most eye opening experience for you as an artist?
How interconnected we are to one another. I have had the opportunity to instruct artists and hone their skills; they come from many different nations and places across the province and Canada. Yet they come together to share experiences and share in their commonality of art.
What inspires you to keep creating art?
Our people, the land, the cultural knowledge, and stories that have been always here. Giving back to the ancestors before us that laid the foundation, the ones that revived our history and continued the tenuous thread of knowledge, and to the ones that will come after us and continue the journey.
Read Dean’s Here For Good feature on our Construction Foundation website by clicking HERE.Artist