By Matthew Willis and Meghan Price
The MOA Shop has been brining in more prints and artwork related to the Kesu’ exhibit (which just opened on Friday!). Today, the MOA Shop is show casing the work of William Wasden Jr. His full name is William Hilamas Edward Wasden Jr. Wakanalagalis “The-River-Flows-Through-Him-Forever” and like Doug Cranmer, he is from Alert Bay. William, a member of the ‘Namgis, is a Hereditary Chief on both his mother’s and father’s side and a descendent of the Cook, Wanukw, Hunt, Alfred, Harris and Inis families.
At the age of twelve, his mother enrolled him in one of Doug Cranmer’s art classes where he would later learn and study under his cousin Beau Dick and Haida artist Don Yeoman. Along with visual artwork, William has a passion for singing and for preserving the songs of his people. He has been groomed by the late Chief Tom Willie and wife Elise to be a song keeper and composer for Kwawaka’wakw ceremony and
everyday enjoyment. William leads the ‘Gwa’wina Dancers Cultural Society’, a professional dance troupe that often represents the ‘Namgis Nation. The group keeps and practises authentic Kwakwa?ka?’wakw culture and teachings in a respectful and dignified way for people all over British Columbia.
While his music is not available at the gift shop at this time, please come by and see his prints (displayed here)!
Here is a video documenting William’s life and career. It also gives some excellent insight to Alert Bay and the traditions and artists that it creates. http://www.bebo.com/c/video?FlashBoxId=4224284635