Gladys Vandal Haida Weaver
Gladys Vandal has always been artistic, but has made a name for herself as a talented weaver of cedar. She took up the art in earnest in 1994 and studied under other notable weavers, including renowned Haida weaver Delores Churchill. Over the years, Gladys went on to develop her own unique style and technique. She gathers much of her own yellow and red cedar bark from the forests around Skidegate. Gladys is well-known for her traditional cedar hats, but she has woven a variety of different items, including baskets, rattles, flowers, jewellery and doll clothes. Gladys teaches formal weaving classes from time to time, her opportunity to pass on stories and cultural ideas along with her skills. Gladys has exhibited her work in places throughout BC including the Haida Gwaii Museum and the Turtle Island Gallery in Kelowna, as well as many art shows in places as far away as Scottsdale, Arizona, including the All Islands Art Show and the BC Festival of the Arts. She has been the recipient of several Awards of Merit.
Meet Gladys Vandal
Meet Gladys Vandal
Gladys Vandal, whose Haida name is Jiixa, was born and raised in Skidegate. She calls Haida Gwaii with its majestic ocean and pristine rain forests "the most magical place on earth." As a member of the Eagle clan, she comes from a long line of artists and weavers. Her grandmother was also a skilled weaver of cedar and spruce roots. Learning to weave cedar was a given, but the name that she has made for herself and her work throughout BC and abroad came from a devotion to mastering her art and a deep connection to her cultural roots.
Gladys raised her own family on Haida Gwaii and remains close to them. She is now a doting grandmother who loves spending as much time as possible with her grand children. Gladys' extended family is filled with artists of all kinds, including other weavers.
Though her two big passions, weaving and her family, take up much of her time, Gladys still finds time to give back. She is deeply involved in the community, from volunteering with the Skidegate elders to sharing her art with new weavers. She is also committed to the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program.