This year, Randy Louie was included in the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery’s member show for the first time.

Louie is the second member of the Klahoose First Nation to be featured in the Gallery’s member show after Kenny Hanuse. 

The annual show is a collection of works by the society’s members who apply to be included in the show. This year, the show concluded on Sept. 10, but one of Louie’s carvings, featured in the member’s show, remains featured at the Hollyhock gift shop. 

Louie is a member of the Klahoose and the Malahat First Nations; he says his familial identity lead him to wood carving sculpture.

Klemkwateki, one of Louie’s cultural names, was initiated into paddle carving about 9 years ago by his cousin Darren Blaney, Chief of the Homalco First Nation. It was then that the budding artist completed his first miniature paddle. But Louie was 16 when he completed his first wood carving.

Louie also has a cultural name from his Malahat great, great grandfather-whom was also a fisher, paddler and paddle carver. Louie has also spent many years as a spiritual dancer, which is part of supporting familial celebrations.

A carving of a black Raven with an abalone for an eye.

Louie noted the contrast of black to abalone was his new ‘signature’ aesthetic. Louie noted the abalone, “brings the animal to life”. Photo and art by Randy Louie.

Family is central to the time he spends carving these small paddles, that are worn like pendants, which he estimates he has made 4,000 of to date.

“A lot of my time is spent carving those paddles, preparing for family in the winter time and preparing for the canoe journeys in the summertime,” he said.

Louie also shared two songs with a group in attendance at the Member’s Show opening night. Louie says selling his work at the show has motivated him to continue carving and sharing his craft. He has three new pieces in process right now.

To hear more about Randy Louie’s journey as an artist, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: