A Master Carver's Journey
Ahtsik-sta Qwayachiik (English Name: Sanford Williams) has made it his life’s work creating art that echoes the past of the First Nations folk of British Columbia. Born and raised on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the remote village of Yuquot, Ahtsik-sta was inspired by his relatives, notably his uncle – the late Chief Dominic Andrew. After surviving residential school, Qwayachiik graduated in 1985 then attended the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at ‘Ksan in Old Hazelton, BC. Since completing the course in 1988, Ahtsik-sta Qwayachiik has worked independently as a Master Carver – every single day.
Throughout the years he has proudly participated in many events and has donated pieces to many noteworthy organizations including:
Once described as “the real deal”, Ahtsik-sta still carves authentic pieces from his remote, beachfront shop using handmade materials, and is also accessible from his off-season home in the Fraser Valley. Though his art has been found in dozens of galleries around British Columbia, Ahtsik-sta Qwayachiik is a people’s artist, and loves meeting the public to carve custom-made pieces for them.
• Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver BC
• Sanyi International Wood Sculpture Festival, Taiwan
• The Canucks for Kids Fund, Vancouver BC
• Wilp Si-Satxw Healing Centre, Kitwanga BC
• Gitxsan Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council for the Land Claim, Kitwanga BC
• Royal BC Museum, Victoria BC