Connecting Generations: Local Haida artist mentors nephew’s creative journey

Grant Stream: Arts Mentorship Grant
Project: Seth’s Mentorship
Award: $3,000

The relationship between uncle and nephew is an important one in Haida culture. In 2021 John Brent Bennett received an arts grant to begin mentoring his nephew, Seth Bellis (13), in traditional Haida art, including wood sculpting, tool making and maintenance, and form line design.

John Brent writes in his application, “I wish to broaden his horizons culturally and globally. I am thankful for the travel I have done in my life, it opened my eyes to the beauty and bounty of Haida Gwaii. One can’t understand what an amazing place we live in unless we spend time away to miss it.”

Some of you may recall this grant, which we featured in our 2021 annual report. We’ve recently received a final report and are excited to share an update with you.

What results did your project achieve?
“Seth now has a basic understanding of tool making. It is an art that can take a lifetime to master, so he now has the right foundations to get a start on that journey and a sense of the work involved in becoming a carver.”

What in your project went well?
“Seth’s sketches and drawing (…) showed promise for his future designs. Sketching is a major part of understanding Haida art and translating it to spoons, bowls, and other sculptural works.”

Did you face any challenges in the delivery of your project?
“The main challenge was finding time in a young person’s busy schedule between school, sports and other activities. We found a rhythm though, in the spaces we could create for the work.”

The next deadline for the Arts, Arts Mentorship, or Arts Workshop grant is October 1st, 2023, and these are the final arts intakes for this year.

Visit here for more information.