A prestigious visual-arts prize has been awarded to Haida carver Robert Davidson.
The $30,000 Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts will be presented to Davidson on May 12 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Davidson told the Straight he is honoured by the award, saying it will raise the profile of Northwest Coast art. “When I look at the work done by my ancestors, I’m certainly inspired by the legacy they left behind, and it certainly has been exciting to pick up where they left off,” he said.
Davidson is renowned for his work as a totem-pole carver, printmaker, painter, and jeweller.The 63-year-old admits his understanding of Haida art continues to grow. “The more I explore it, the more excited I get,” he said. “I feel not every piece will be a masterpiece, but each piece I do is a steppingstone to the next one.”
He recently also received a 2010 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
Vancouver’s Germaine Koh, known for witty conceptual installations and public artworks, and multimedia artist Marina Roy will also be recognized with VIVA awards, funded by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation, during the May 12 ceremony.