Carver Gordon Dick uses hand tools to rough out the form of a double-finned whale in red cedar

Tseshaht artist carves out niche

Tseshaht artist Gordon Dick never imagined the kind of success he has seen since he first opened the Ahtsik gallery four years ago.

When Gordon Dick opened the doors to Ahtsik Native Art Gallery along the Pacific Rim Highway west of Port Alberni four years ago, he could only hope for the kind of success he has seen.

Dick started out with half a dozen artists’ work as well as his own. Today, there are 30 First Nations artists featured in the gallery, and he is in demand for commission work.

“I knew it was going to be hard work and long hours,” Dick said while roughing out a carving earlier this week. “Time does fly by when you love what you do.

“I didn’t know we would have as many artists as we do representing the gallery. I’m thankful for that.”

Last spring Dick built a carving shelter at the front of his property, visible to passing traffic. He uses the shelter for larger projects like totem poles and canoes. “I started some doors out there.”

Ahtsik Gallery is open Thursdays through Mondays year-round. He can be reached by phone at 250-723-3425 or e-mail art@ahtsikgallery.ca.

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