Haida Carver Studio
Haida Carver Studio artist and carver Leo Gagnon draws inspiration from the many stories of his ancestors in his artwork. With deep ties to the Haida culture and the often mystical nature of Haida Gwaii’s outdoors, Leo’s works depict legends, spirits and his people’s ancestral history. Leo’s distinctive style is evident in his work, which includes wood-carved masks and paddles, drums, bowls, tools and cedar arts. Leo is also a skilled painter, and many of his other works are decorated with his painting. Leo’s work has been exhibited and displayed in venues and galleries throughout Haida Gwaii, including the Chinook Lodge in Masset. Haida Carver studio is available for custom and commission work.
Meet Leo Gagnon
Meet Leo Gagnon
Leo Gagnon has made a name for himself, both as a skilled, talented artisan and as a vocal activist and advocate for the natural environment of Haida Gwaii. He has deep connections to the land and waters of his ancestral home. He fights hard to keep it the way his ancestors knew it, and he grieves when it falls victim to either acts of man or of nature. Says Leo of Haida Gwaii, "its natural beauty is inspiring." His hope is that he will be able to keep it pristine for succeeding generations.
Leo is a forestry worker by day, but much of the rest of his time is devoted to his artwork. It is a passion that he pursues simply for the love of the craft. When he isn't hanging out in his shop, he enjoys getting outside. He likes to gather wild food, much as his ancestors did.
Leo is also passionate about the history of the Haida Gwaii people. He talks history every chance he gets, and has been consulted on a number of historical projects and writings. "Every village and clan holds their own unique stories," says Leo.