Jacob Lewis

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Jacob Lewis was born in Cheakamus, Squamish tribe of the Coast Salish Nation in 1955, currently residing in the pristine upper Squamish Valley Reserve, known as Cheekye IR U, located at the head of Howe Sound. The village of Squamish is situated halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. on Highway 99 in the sea to sky corridor, a 45-minute drive from Vancouver.

Jacob has been carving since the tender age and became prolific in his 20’s. He studied art education at Capilano College (now Capilano University) for two and a half years. In his college years, he was lucky to attend a tour to Europe with the Overseas Art History Program. In the six weeks tour, he traveled to France, Holland, and Britain. Jacob said this experience was a real eye-opener. He explored the finest museums in the world and he was inspired to expand his knowledge in contemporary art.

Jacob transforms a yellow cedar carving into a work of complex design where integrated hidden crest figures are sub-plots within the larger work. In a design of a simple Sun, one might see several Ravens, Eagles and perhaps a Bear or Whale. Even the eyebrows and cheeks of the figures become secondary creatures themselves.

Jacob’s designs are his own. He uses mainly yellow cedar and completes the designs in Paua Shells – Abalone Shells from New Zealand.

Jacob becomes internationally renowned for his elaborate original designs and is best known for his ability to bring traditional and contemporary forms together. Although Jacob adheres to the established rules of Northwest Coast Native art in shape and form, he adds o modern dimension that is completely his own. It is this tension between the old and the new that makes Jacob’s work so compelling and alive.

Jacob’s work has been displayed in exhibitions all over North America and remains a part of prominent private collections throughout the world.