An intricately carved yew wood stick inlaid with exotic material like woolly mammoth ivory and California abalone won the “people’s choice” award at the opening of the All-Islands Art Show Saturday (Feb. 24) in Queen Charlotte.
It was the second year in a row that artist Chris Dobranski has won the top honour. Art show organizer Evelyn von Almassy said his entry attracted an overwhelming number of votes from the public.
Mr. Dobranski said this year’s carving is a tribute to his friend Mabel Williams of Skidegate, who died in January. She gave him the name ‘Tanuud’, meaning autumn or changing colours, in a reference to the tie-dyed shirts he often wears.
The walking stick took around 700 hours to carve, Mr. Dobranski said, and the yew wood comes from the islands. Although it looks fragile, it’s actually extremely tough and could be used for hiking.
“I like incorporate a bit of practicality, so it could be used,” he said. “It’s quite a challenge to carve a small object and make it come to life.”
Mr. Dobranski has previously worked as a lab technologist at the hospital and as a fishing guide, but has been carving full-time for the last two years. He said he first came to the Charlottes about three years ago, and has been coming back ever since.
Runner-up in the people’s choice awards was Queen Charlotte artist Sandra Price, who entered a large quilt embellished with embroidered text, illustrations, and a map of the islands. The art show attracted around 50 pieces by residents of all communities.
The show is on display at the visitor info centre in Queen Charlotte until March 16. The centre is open most days from noon til 5 pm.
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