N.B. artist takes first place in international competition for Indigenous artwork
An artist from New Brunswick's Tobique First Nation has taken first place at an international competition for his Indigenous artwork.
Shane Perley-Dutcher combines inspiration from his indigenous heritage with modern soldering, engraving and hammering, crafting pieces out of materials like silver at his home studio in Fredericton.
Perley-Dutcher recently won the sculpture category at the internationally-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market in New Mexico, with one of his traditional woven baskets.
“I've looked at their stuff for a long time, followed some of the artists that go there, and represented the highest and most prestigious show in the world that supported Indigenous artwork,” says Perley-Dutcher.
Perley-Dutcher studied at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. His former teacher, Brigitte Clavette, says she is not surprised by his success.
“Silversmithing and jewelry-making is much more contemporary for us,” says Clavette. “He's bringing that with a new flair; the pieces are very classy.”
The award-winning artist credits his community and his mother with exposing him to Indigenous art at an early age.
“She was a single mother. She basically decided, with limited means, she was only able to get me involved with so many things,” says Perley-Dutcher.
His mother turned to friends, who were local artists, to educate and guide her son.
Though his art has drawn international acclaim, Perley-Dutcher says his biggest fans are his daughters. He hopes his work will teach them about their culture and also the importance of a strong work ethic.
“When you put so much work into one goal, to actually achieve it, it's an enriching experience,” he says.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jessica Ng