Angora wool,glass beads, white heart beads
56 x 55”
This is the last Button robe made by Dorothy Grant. The fine details in this piece sparkle with glass Black and white beads and mother of pearl buttons. the placing of materials is very important in button robe making and Dorothy became a master blanket maker that preceded her work as a fashion designer. She draws her inspiration for making Haida art on fashion from this artform. She borrows from a traditional technique of applique in robe making to make her line of FeastWear. She bridges the old with new, she was also the first to add applique artwork to 2 sides of the blanket border in 1982. A new tradition she inspired thousands to do later. Her last button robe sold went to the New World Museum in Liverpool England.
Internationally renowned fashion designer and traditional Haida artist Dorothy Grant’s strong connection to her culture and Haida identity has been the driving creative force and her foundation as a contemporary fashion designer for over the past thirty-two years. In 1988, Grant became the first to merge Haida art and fashion utilizing her formal training at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design.
Dorothy believes that her clothing embodies the Haida philosophy Yaangudang meaning “self respect.” The driving force behind her clothing designs is “empowerment, pride and feeling good about oneself.”
There are few designers in Canada that are manufacturer, a wholesaler, and have had their own retail storefront, Dorothy Grant is one of those few. In 1986 Grant began to pursue a vision of building a business and storefront in downtown Vancouver which became a reality in 1994. Over the course of seventeen years and three recessions, she kept going with her vision in spite of the struggles and challenges of being a small business owner. Grant’s ability to maintain a successful business while remaining true to her artistic ability has been one of her most impressive achievements. Dorothy’s success is evident by her invitations to participate in many prestigious art and fashion exhibitions. She is the recipient of numerous awards, and her work is featured in 13 museum collections across Canada, United States, and the United Kingdom. In May 2015, Dorothy received the “Order of Canada” for her contributions to Canada’s fashion industry and for mentoring youth through her example as a designer and entrepreneur.
After seventeen years in retail and manufacturing, Grant has transformed her entrepreneurial focus to Native art market trade shows and online sales through her website www.dorothygrant.com. She continues to make one-of-a-kind garments for her clients and she shows in various art markets in Alaska, California, New Mexico, New York, and various cities in Canada.
For more than fifty years now, Robert Davidson has worked as an artist and has produced an internationally acclaimed body of work. His work is found in a number of private and public collections including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of History in Hull, Quebec.
Davidson’s passion to perpetuate a variety of forms of Haida cultural expression, including song, dance, and ceremony, has inspired his creativity ou throughout the years. He has been responsible for carving and raising the first totem pole in his hometown of Massett in nearly 90 years when he was just 22 years old. His inspiration was to give his elders a chance to celebrate culture in a way they had not been able to in their lifetimes.
Davidson was born November 4, 1946, to a notable family of artists. His great grandfather was the famed Haida artist, Charles Edenshaw (1839 – 1924) whose superb artworks were well known in the Haida community and also collected and displayed in showrooms internationally, during the era before Haida culture was painfully silenced by the government.
While he was growing up, Haida art had virtually disappeared from view in Massett. From an early age, Robert was surrounded by fine carving as both his father, Claude Davidson, and grandfather, Robert Davidson Sr. were respected carvers. Robert began carving at the age of 13 when his father insisted he carry on the family artistic tradition.
In 1965, Robert moved to Vancouver to complete his education at Point Grey Secondary School. This move allowed him to learn more about the arts of the Haida Nation, through visits to the Vancouver Museum to see stunning artworks collected from Haida Gwaii.
In 1966, while demonstrating his carving work at Eaton’s in Vancouver, Davidson met the late Bill Reid, who then coached him on sculpture and design for the next eighteen months. Through Reid, he met anthropologist Wilson Duff and artist Bill Holm and continued to learn about the Haida art. In 1967 he enrolled in the Vancouver School of Art.
He has received many honors for his accomplishments, including an Inspire Award year 2000 for art and culture. He is an Order of British Columbia; an Order of Canada, the Governor General’s Award for Visual Arts, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement Award in the Visual Arts, and numerous honorary degrees from universities in Canada and the U.S.
He is a leading figure in the resurgence of Haida art and culture and is a founding member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers with his brother and fellow artist, Reg Davidson.
In 2019 a film called “Haida Modern”, was his life profile featuring his body of work in a film of Haida contemporary art and the paths he has taken to move the art to another level of modern art.