Gold and Copper
by Nathaniel Wilkerson, Gitxsan Tribe

  • Dimensions: 6"x30"
  • Limited Edition of 150
  • Ships within 2 weeks
  • Free Shipping & Free Returns

    Artist's StoryArtist's Tribal AffiliationType of Print


    Found only in British Columbia\'s northern forests, the rare "Spirit Bear" or "Kermode Bear" is a sub-species of the black bear and is widely recognized for its unique white coloring. The territory of the Kermode is about 7.2 million hectares. They exist in the wilderness regions from Princess Royal Island to Prince Rupert Island, Terrace and East Hazelton. Other Kermodes can be reddish, gray, yellow, or even orange...but about one in ten show the white "spirit bear" coloration.

    A Tsimshian legend gives a different explanation for the origin of the bear. Long ago, the world was covered in ice and snow. One day, the raven, the creator of the world, came down from heaven and turned the world green, as it is today. But as a reminder of the time when all was white and the hardships that resulted, the raven went among the bears and turned every tenth one the color of snow. The raven decreed that the white bear, which the Tsimshian call Moksgm'ol, would live in peace and harmony forever.

    Named in 1928 after Dr. Francis Kermode, director of the BC Provincial Museum, the Kermode (Ursus americanus kemodei) is now protected by law. This reclusive bear seeks mountainous terrain and deep forests, along with the salmon streams that cut through the northwest, feeding on wild berries, insects, salmon and small game.
    Nathaniel Wilkerson's ancestry is through the Gitxsan tribe, in Hazelton (Gitanmaax) B.C. Canada. He is a member of the Wolf clan (Lax Gibuu), house of "Amaget". He was raised in Terrace, B.C. and spent most of his time working on a family farm, Skeena River Vegetable Farms.

    At the age of 10, Nathaniel was first introduced to his tribe's artwork by instructors, Randy Adams and Robert Stanley, who came to his elementary school and taught a number of Indian art lessons. At age 11, Nathaniel attended a seminar put on by Freda Diesing at the Northern Lights Art Studio where his mother approached Freda and arranged private lessons for Nathaniel to be properly schooled in the arts of his people. From January 1984 until March 1985, he received private drawing lessons and carving lessons from Freda Diesing. With Freda's guidance, he learned the basic guidelines and concepts of Northwest Coast Artwork and became familiar with the traditional animals, mythological creatures, and their distinguishing characteristics. Through his carving work with Freida, he realized the rewarding process of seeing a piece of art develop from concept to finished product.

    Nathaniel made exceptional progress and the 7th carving he completed under Freda's tutelage was a killer whale design which was submitted to the International Museum of Children's Art, where it has remained on exhibit for a number of years.

    Freda Diesing's artwork and training has had a tremendous impact and influence on Nathaniel's work. Other artists who have inspired Nathaniel include Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, Robert Davidson, Don Yeomans and most recently David A. Boxley.

    In his work, Nathaniel prefers a classical approach with heavy form lines and a combination of Gitxsan, Haida and Tshimshian influences. His studies haven't ceased since working with Freda; he continually evaluates and modifies his personal creative interpretation while studying the works of great masters of the past and present.

    Nathaniel is a member of Gitxsan Nation, a Federally Recognized Tribe in Canada. He has five children and it is only with his wife, Cindy's support that he is able to take the time to generate new ideas. Nathaniel's work is sold across Canada and the USA in respected Native American Art Galleries such as Stonington Gallery and Quintana Galleries.
  • Signed, Limited Edition of 150
  • Printed: June. 2006
  • Paper: Rising Stonehenge 245gm/m2 Black
  • Dimensions: 6"x30"
  • Packaging: Shrink Wrapped, Unframed
  • Includes Artist Bio, Legend, and Certificate of Authenticity
  • Professionally shipped by Artist, Nathaniel Wilkerson within 2 weeks.
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