Geo “the carver” McKay:
Geo McKay born in Prince Rupert, B.C. was raised in Greenville, one of the four remaining villages along the Nass River, in northwestern British Columbia. Born into the Beaver tribe of the Nisga’a Nation also son of a very influential artist Patterson McKay. Geo developed an early interest in north coast art, while assisting and learning from his father. Soon fueled by his natural creative urge, he began carving on his own. Geo’s father Mr. P. McKay felt that along with first nation’s art, education was also very important; Geo began to look at his art not only as a natural hobby, but also as a way to express his desire to broaden his talent through travel and time. This period of travel broadened his repertoire of techniques allowing him first hand knowledge of contemporary and traditional works of art. During these last few years, Geo’s artwork and name have gained a large and appreciative following, as his unique style evolved dramatically.
Geo has worked along with several influential artists, including the well-seasoned carver Murphy Stanley Sr. his son’s Virgil, Robert, Murphy Jr. Tsimshian artist and Master Carver Henry Green is highly regarded as a mentor and friend, Geo feels that Mr.H.Green has guided his art down the more traditional path. Geo’s preferred medium is of course wood, but his talent lets him carve anything he puts his mind to. He feels that the wood allows him to express all his capabilities, always trying to explore the living natural endless variety and beauty in wood. Both wood and paint are a more traditional medium for north coast art. As they were and are the predominant method of artistic expressions, before the coast was opened to the western culture. Geo has a natural talent and deeply felt passion for carving totem poles, masks and again anything he puts his hand to. His masks vary greatly in subject, matter and form. Requests for totem poles from one inch to forty feet high are all carved with the skill of his many years of experience. Always available to fill commissions for such items as paddles, bowls spoons and traditional regalia. Geo’s distinctive style is an expression of his cultural heritage. He is an artist with a traditional and very spiritual approach to his art. The forests, mountains, rivers, ocean, sun and moon along the Pacific Northwest abound with stories and legends he grew up listening to. Geo McKay draws his artistic inspirations from the legends and supernatural heritage of the Nisga’a people. His works are contemporary expressions of the Nisga’a Nations past. His roots are firmly anchored in the natural beauty of the Nass valley, and the traditions of his forefathers.
Geo McKay’s art has been featured in many private collections worldwide and with local private collections, along with galleries and museums worldwide.