JANUARY 25, 2017


Born February 16, 1962, a member of the Eagle Clan of the Nisga’a Nation of northwestern British Columbia, Telek’s hereditary name meant “Four Canoes Coming into the Village.” Telek’s uncle, famed Nisga’a carver Norman Tait, became his mentor in 1983 while Telek was attending high school. The two worked together on carving several totem poles, including one in Stanley Park in Vancouver, and two for the Capilano Mall in North Vancouver. His own style was later influenced by African, Japanese, and Italian sculpting techniques while at Langara College in Vancouver. His first gallery exhibition, at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver in 1985, led to others in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. Telek’s primary focus eventually became the creation of masks which represent spiritual beings. An essential theme in his work was shapeshifting–the transformation of humans into animals, or animals into other animals.  Telek died in Terrace, British Columbia

Sources:  Ron Telek, “Ron Telek, Nisga’a, Alcheringa Gallery.  Retrieved 12/9/2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20110707104709/http://www.alcheringa-gallery.com/artists.html/v1/view/v2/2/v3/100
Photo: Ronnie Tessler, 12/17/1986.  Courtesy of UBC Museum of Anthropology, Archives image a036002.  Source: [Ron Telek carves in an outdoor shed] - Audrey and Harry Hawthorn Library and Archives (ubc.ca)

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