Arthur Vickers, Order of British Columbia
Arthur Vickers is often described as a modern day renaissance man.
Known for his easy laugh and his love of telling stories that broaden our view of nature and the world around us, Arthur is also recognized for his highly sought after and internationally collected artworks. Based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, his stories and artworks are inspired by the people and natural beauty of Canada's west coast.
More about Arthur Vickers…
Arthur is art in the fullest sense, not just as a discipline, nor as the creation of works of beauty and excellence, but as the art of living: of a life lived quietly and thoughtfully in the service of others through the expression of extraordinary gifts."
Said of Arthur upon receiving his Honorary Degree of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, Spring 2006
Born in Northern British Columbia, Arthur is a child of two worlds. Arthur's mother was of English and Canadian background and his father was of Heiltsuk and Tsimshian First Nations lineage.
A small boy at his grandfathers side, a young fisherman plying the coast from north to south, a journeyman carpenter giving back to the many people and villages throughout the Province, the visual and oral stories for which he is so celebrated are inspired by Arthur's richly diverse life.
Arthur's passion for the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia's coastal communities has driven him as an artist. In his work and story telling, he captures the legends of his past, honouring the natural beauty that has surrounded him all his life and the many ancestral legends of British Columbia's First Nations. Arthur uses many mediums and his voice to unlock the magic and mystery of arguable some of the world's most stunning landscapes and coastlines.
Arthur is always experimenting with new mediums. His works of gold relief, his mastery of the ancient art of serigraphy, his sculptural works employing glass, granite and gold and one of his greatest accomplishments to date, the drafting, designing and construction of the Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, BC designed and built for his brother Roy (completed in 1986) and to this day a truly visionary building, Arthur's artwork and creativity embodies an immense level of artistry. His art is often described as visual poetry, and more importantly, for Arthur it is a means of story telling.
In recognition of his art, his many contributions to charities and his role in keeping First Nations heritage alive, Arthur received the Order of British Columbia in 2008. He is also a member of the Order of St. John for his service to humanity. And In 2006 he received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria.
Although he discovered his art later in life, Arthur's inspiration came from his childhood, when as a boy he spent much of his time traveling the British Columbia coast by boat with his Ya'as (grandfather). His Ya'as was a canoe carver and a fisherman and they would often pull into Oona River located on Porcher Island, just south of Prince Rupert, BC to work on the boat and spend time amongst the many Scandinavian craftsmen there who were building boats by hand, using red and yellow cedar – materials that would later become so important to Arthur and his artwork.
As a young fisherman travelling the coastal waters of British Columbia, Arthur was often reminded of his grandfather's teachings of protecting our environment and caring for others who may be less fortunate. He has always held these values very close to his heart and has been deeply involved and supportive of environmental and social initiatives throughout his life.
Today, Arthur lives and creates his works of art in the seaside village of Cowichan Bay, 1 hour north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. This bucolic setting is the backdrop for many of his inspirations.