One of the highlights of Paul Joseph's career so far was to meet the King and Queen of Spain for whom he made a totem pole for. Born in 1960, the Northwest Coast Indian art carver also comes from royal lineage of some sort as his grandfather was Chief Moses Joseph of the Squamish Nation in BC, Canada.
Paul learned to carve when he was just nine years old. Credits go to his uncle, Chief Norman Joseph and Darcy Joseph as his carving teachers.
Paul gets his artistic inspiration from the history of his people and says, "I want to keep the culture going." The subjects of his artwork depend on what he sees in each piece of wood. Compared to works by other carvers, Paul's pieces are usually more detailed and complex. An average wooden plaque will take five to six hours to complete while a small totem may take about three days.
He claims that the younger generation of his community gets exposed to their cultural artwork through pow-wows and art shows which result in high interest to pursue art as chosen careers. They see art as a financially viable occupation. However, Paul considers a four to five year period to be compulsory as development time for new Northwest Coast Indian art carvers.
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By his observation, there are more Northwest Coast Indian art carvers now than ever before and the numbers will likely increase. "Our art will travel so it will be big" says Paul.
Paul would like to see the emergence of working art studios for not only Northwest Coast Indian artists, but for all natives to do their cultural artwork. He thinks that this would be a good way for native artists to interact with each other. Like others in his community, he would also like to see more Northwest Coast Indian art museums displaying his people's art. At least for now, we all know that one of Paul’s totem poles is being proudly displayed somewhere in the Royal Palace in Spain.
Paul's artwork is featured in the Northwest Indian Art Carvings video. Northwest Coast Indian artists like Paul Joseph and others are producing some stunning artwork these days. Imagine such a piece being displayed in your home. See Northwest Coast Indian art carvings or Northwest Coast Indian art prints at very affordable online prices at Free Spirit Gallery.
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