"That’s when I frustratingly started really applying myself. Even back then I had it in my heart to be one of the best out there in our field and I did it."
- JOE WILSON-SXWASET, COAST SALISH
FEATURED DESIGNS BY JOE WILSON-SXWASET
The Joe Wilson-Sxwaset Collection at Native Northwest is predominantly known for his Thunderbird Moon and Salish Eagle designs. However, the Collection offers several other gorgeous animal themed designs that should not be understated. Traditional yet always innovative and unique, Joe’s body of work, is a true testimony to the Coast Salish Renaissance of the past 50 years.
MEET THE ARTIST
MEET THE ARTIST
Coast Salish artist Joseph M. Wilson (Sxwaset) was born in 1967 and raised at Koksilah near Duncan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Joe's keen interest in Native Art began at the early age of 12, while watching his stepfather, Johnny Sampson, designing and carving beautiful works. However, sibling competition with his younger brother, Rick, spurred on his need to take his artistry seriously.
Joe has studied Coast Salish Art extensively. He has apprenticed under master carvers such as the late Simon Charlie, Coast Salish artist Charles Elliott, and the Nuu-Chah-nulth master carver Tim Paul at the Royal British Columbia Museum. He was also greatly influenced by the work of the late Art Thompson.
Joe's artwork is both traditionally authentic and an artistic communication link between cultures. His colours are bold and unconventional, yet extremely appealing and rich. His work speaks of confidence and strength as he continues to develop his unique and original style. He has truly emerged as one of the most prolific Coast Salish artists today.
Coast Salish are a large grouping of many ethnically and linguistically related nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Indigenous peoples of numerous distinct cultures and languages, spanning from the northern limit of the Salish Sea on the inside of Vancouver Island all the way to Tillamook, Oregon.
The traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples covers most of southern Vancouver Island, all of the Lower Mainland and most of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. Coinciding with many major metropolitan areas, namely Victoria, Vancouver, and Seattle.
Coast Salish cultures and art differ considerably from those of their northern neighbours. Comprised of circular shapes and ovals, trigons, crescents and extended crescents, Coast Salish art noticeably differs from Haida formline art comprised mainly of ovoids and u-forms.
Indigenous art of the southern Northwest Coast has been largely underrepresented and misunderstood for generations, but in recent decades a Salish Renaissance has emerged. Native Northwest is proud to partner with many artists considered to be at the forefront of this revival.