Mask depicting Salmon Woman by Stan Greene, Coast Salish
Mask depicting Salmon Woman, 1998 by Stan Greene, Coast Salish alder, cedar bark, pigment 16" high x 10" wide x 6" deep
Stan Greene is a Coast Salish artist born in Mission, British Columbia on April 15, 1953. His mother was Halkomelum Nation, and his father was from Semiahmo Nation. His grandfather on his father's side was full blooded Nez Perce that traces back to the great Chief Joseph. He was raised by his grandparents and exposed to Salish culture from an early age.
He began carving at the age of 13. His grandfather had a small collection of carvings and a set of carving tools that Stan studied with as a young man. At the age of 21 he began carving for a living and in 1977 he attended the K’san School of Art where he learned northern Tsimshian design. His teachers were Walter Harris, Ken Moatt, Earl Muldoe and Vernon Stevens. In 1978 he did his first Salish designs for the limited edition prints, "Human and Thunderbird" and "Man with Wolves", which are considered to be the first examples of pure Salish design to be marketed in the Northwest Coast art scene.
He carved at Expo 86 in Vancouver representing the Salish people and has traveled to Japan where a 27' pole that he carved was raised in Kanazawa Park in Yokohama. Stan now carves in both the northern style and the Salish style but but he believes that they should not be mixed. There was no one to teach him the Salish design forms so he did his own research, studying the old pieces in the British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and questioning the elders in his community. Today there is still only a handful of artists that understand the Salish art form. Stan is striving for more understanding of this culture.
Stan remembers being ridiculed when he was young. He wondered why he was an Indian. He felt out of place. His art has taught him the value and importance of his own cultural background. A few years ago Stan began exploring his Nez Perce roots. Today he and his daughter are avid Pow Wow dancers traveling around Canada and the USA competing. Stan's name is A-E-Ya which means good doctor.
Stan Greene is devoted to the advancement of the Salish culture but he still finds inspiration from all cultures. His work is in collections around the world. He continues to work. The wood carvings are reminders of stories from the distant past speaking to him like that old collection that his grandfather used to show him.