Latash Maurice Nahanee
Special to The Post
For over 25 years Northwest Coast artist David Neel has produced exquisite jewelry based on the the rich cultural heritage of his people, the Kwagiutl of Vancouver Island.
Neel’s custom jewelry marks important events in the lives of his clients: birth, death, relationships, and victory over an illness.
His clients have shared many stories about the symbolism they assign to his pieces, and this is what he finds most fulfilling in his work.
The term Northwest Coast refers to an area of the west Coast of North America stretching from northern Washington State, the BC coastline to Southern Alaska.
Neel said, “Custom made jewelry is our specialty, and you have the opportunity of dealing directly with a Canadian Aboriginal jeweler.”
Neel descends from a family of aritsts, which includes: Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James.
“Looking for a Native American diamond engagement ring, an Indian gold wedding band or a unique Northwest Native gift in sterling silver, gold or platinum, you will enjoy shopping in our artist owned gallery. Our inventory includes rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets, in addition to Canadian Aboriginal art, such as masks, totem poles, paddles, bentwood boxes and paintings.”
“You can shop online or visit our North Vancouver Aboriginal art gallery,” said Neel.
Peers from his fathers’ village taught him in the traditional way. He then went on to establish a contemporary style that incorporates the legends and teachings of his people. Starting with gold and silver, he skillfully transforms the ancient stories into unique and powerful pieces of jewelry.
Throughout his career he has worked in a number of media, including: woodcarving, photography, painting and printmaking.
He is the author of two books on Native culture, and is currently working on a third book. He has had dozens of exhibitions in museums and art galleries, and is represented in numerous public collections..
For more information go to www.davidneel.com
or contact directly at 104 W Esplanade, North Vancouver, (604) 988-9215.