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Kippens resident named for Order of Canada creates humor in his art works

Michael Massie poses for a photo with his carving entitled “atelihai / welcome” (19.3 x 43.5 x 12.9 cm.) done in: serpentine, anhydrite, bone, crystalline alabaster, brass, ivory, birch, jatoba wood, paudauk wood, sterling silver, plexiglass and sinew.
Michael Massie poses for a photo with his carving entitled “atelihai / welcome” (19.3 x 43.5 x 12.9 cm.) done in: serpentine, anhydrite, bone, crystalline alabaster, brass, ivory, birch, jatoba wood, paudauk wood, sterling silver, plexiglass and sinew.

Michael Massie is honoured to become a member of a group of people whose names include Kenojuak Ashevak.

Ashevak was a Canadian artist and pioneer of modern Inuit art, who died in early 2013.

Massie said she was best known for her print “The Enchanted Owl” and was an artist he has looked up to ever since he took an interest in art.

Now Massie, who lives in Kippens, is being added to the list of people being inducted as a member of the Order of Canada, just as Ashevak was back in 1982. Her print “The Enchanted Owl” has been featured on a postage stamp,

Massie, who was born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, is being recognized for his original work reflecting his mixed Inuit-Metis heritage. He is being inducted as a member of the order for his accomplishments as a silversmith and sculptor whose innovative combinations of themes and materials have pushed the boundaries of Inuit sculpture.

Getting notification of the upcoming induction and honour in a letter in the mail was a total surprise for him.

“I don’t even know who nominated me,” he said.

All he is aware of is that he will be asked to an induction ceremony in Rideau Hall in Ottawa at some point in time and that he’ll have 12 weeks’ notice in advance

“It’s quite the honour, it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said.

Massie, who turns 55 in September, is still busy creating his art and just sent his latest piece off to Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, B.C., which he has been dealing with since 2001.

He normally sends one to three pieces sculptures to that gallery each month, depending on the size and the detail that is put into a certain piece.

To date he has sent more than 450 pieces to them and currently there are just seven pieces of his up for sale. The rest have all been sold.

Massie said his association with Spirit Wrestler has been great and his works are going pretty well there despite the owners having moved to a different part of the city.

“My pieces are holding their prices, which we try to keep fair. People who collect still purchase them and do so without breaking the bank,” he said.

Massie said he has also got a lot of help in the province, including from Devon House Craft Centre in St. John’s.

He said even without awards, he knew back in 1997 that he wanted to go at making art full time for his career. He had been teaching art and while he still does some instructing part time he wants to keep doing art as a full lifetime career.

For anyone who has seen the titles of his work, they know that Massie likes to inject humor into his art pieces.

“If you can’t laugh at life at times, then it’s not a very good thing I don’t think. Everybody looks to the good times and if one of my pieces makes a person smile, then I’ve done my job.”

Massie said it’s not always fun making art but it’s fun thinking up stuff and keeping your brain active by coming up with ideas.

http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php?artists_id=196

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