Robert Sebastian has once again lit his campfire in Prince George. The famed Gitxsan painter, carver and writer has always considered B.C.’s northern capital to be his second home, spending many years here going to school in his youth, helping to found the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, and advancing his international art career. He still considers Hazelton his primary base, where his family and ancestors are rooted, but he is currently reconnecting with Lheidli T’enneh territory.
To celebrate, Robert Sebastian is releasing his latest print “Peace Eagles and A Wolf: Puzzle” which breaks new ground for the veteran artist.
“It is the first time I have created a work that has a puzzle feature to it,” he said. “It is a rarity in Aboriginal art.”
The challenge is to find all the wolves painted subtly into the tree at the base of the image, with the twin Peace Eagles soaring above the War Eagle in the foreground.
Sebastian has also twinned artistically with Prince George jeweller Seth Tobin for any of his images from paintings to be depicted in the silver and gold of Tobin’s trade.
Sebastian is also working on an art donation to a local charity close to his heart, the B.C. Cancer Centre for the North. Like so many of us, cancer has touched Sebastian’s life and he wants to contribute to their efforts. He will be presenting them with a painting entitled “Dancing Ravens and Sun.”
“So much great work is being done by British Columbia’s medical community,” he said. “Look at how we have handled COVID-19 in this province. B.C. is a world leader in that situation. Now we must concentrate on discipline, maintain our physical distancing and cleanliness, and make sure we protect lives in B.C. from a second wave. I know that’s a hard thing to do when we all want to get out and be with each other after the isolation we’ve all experienced, but we can’t risk wasting the great position we’ve put ourselves in. That is why I want to contribute to the cancer clinic at this time. We have to look after our health, as people and as a society.”
The new prints of are available now at Seth Tobin Jewellers (101-2324 Ferry Avenue) and at WD West Studios (1364 Third Avenue) where the image was processed onto international art-grade paper for its unveiling.
Sebastian is a member of the Wolf Clan in the House of Spookx from the Gitxsan Nation. Career highlights include his works in the collection of the British Royal Family; in the University of Victoria’s Maltwood Museum and Carleton University’s George MacDonald Collection; five of Prince George’s international sister cities have been gifted his work as official municipal presents; his work has been used for books and film; the Montreal Expos and Vancouver Canucks have commissioned his art; as a cultural ambassador he has appeared for international dignitaries in Paris, China, and Australia.