A Prince Rupert artist has been provincially recognized for her work.
Dale Campbell was one of five First Nations artists to receive the 2013 BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nation Art, recently announced by Premier Christy Clark and BC Achievement Foundation Chair Keith Mitchellon Nov. 5.
“I’m really excited about it. I’m really thankful,” she said.
Campbell has been carving for more than 40 years, first starting under the mentorship of Dempsey Bob, who was one of the judges of this year’s award recipients, and Freda Diesing. The Tahltan/Tlinget artist finds inspiration for her pieces from traditional First Nations stories.
Over the years Campbell’s art has taken her on a journey around the world and the country.
“I consider myself to be very lucky,” she said.
“If you find something that you love doing, you never know where it’s going to take you. You have to work on what you love and whatever comes along is [a bonus].”
A number of years ago Campbell and her brother were selected to travel to China for a festival where they carved a totem pole, representing aboriginal people of Canada.
Furthermore, Campbell designed and constructed a button blanket that was selected for the year-long exhibition “Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth”, first shown in Australia.
Campbell’s art has also taken her to Arizona, when she was selected to take part in the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, competing with hundreds of aboriginal artists from all over North America. Earlier this year, Campbell won first place in the Non-Pueblo wood carvings category of the competition.
This March, Campbell will be returning to the art show, bringing a number of pieces including a rattle she is currently working on.
In the 1980s, Campbell was part of the National Native Role Model Program which selects role models to travel around Canada visiting schools and remote communities to inspire aboriginal youth.
“I used my artworks as an example of where I was going and getting the kids to identify with me,” she said, encouraging First Nation youth to stick with their ambitions.
“As long as you’re working hard and trying to develop yourself as an artist, doors will open,” she said.
“The great thing about being an artist, a woman artist, is when I hear in some way I have inspired them to keep going with what they’re doing. I think that’s the biggest reward to hear that, especially when it’s another
Campbell, along with Old Massett’s Marlene Liddle, Tofino’s Joe Martin, Terrace’s Ken McNeil, Sammy Robinson from Kitamaat Village and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Mandy Brown will be presented with the awards at a November ceremony in Vancouver. The six First Nations artists will join 37 others the foundation has recognized over the last seven years.
Premier Clark said First Nations art is a source of pride for all British Columbians.
“These … artists are carrying on a legacy that stretches back thousands of years, preserving a rich tradition for generations to come,” she said.
The Creative Achievement Awards honours British Columbian artists whose work is judged to be original and innovative while having practical function.