Philip Gray, "Raven Transformations," 2004, yellow cedar with cedar rope, 26" in diameter.
By Jennifer MacLeod
Born in Vancouver just 21 years ago, Philip Gray has already established a place for himself in the world of Northwest Coast art. A member of the Killerwhale/Eagle Clan of the Tsimshian people of British Columbia, and also part Cree, Gray has grown up celebrating his heritage through dance, drumming and song. In 1999, he began carving under the mentorship of artists Michael Dangeli and Gerry Sheena. With an expanding artistic repertoire, Gray works in alder, cedar, boxwood and dogwood creating masks, bowls, poles, carved panels, sculptural pieces and steam bent boxes, and painting drums. “His attention to detail and the perfection of his pieces is amazing,” says Peter Lattimer of Lattimer Gallery, who places Gray solidly among a select “new wave” of leading, under-30-year-old Northwest Coast artists. “He puts 110 percent into every piece,” says Lattimer. “He has great passion for his work.” Gray’s artwork is highlighted this summer at Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver, and is also found at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver and Hill’s Native Art, Vancouver.