(ANNews) – The new works of stone sculptor Leo Arcand are on exhibit at Bearclaw Gallery from September 24 – October 6, 2016. The theme of the exhibit is ‘Nurturing the Spirit’ and he is sharing the stage with Ojibway artist Jessica Desmoulin (whose art is featured on the cover of the September edition of Alberta Native News). Both artists have been heavily influenced by the spirituality and beauty of the animal world.
Arcand is a Woodland Cree sculptor from the Alexander First Nations reserve in Northern Alberta. Leo has sketched since he was a young boy, but in 1991 he was introduced to stone carving and this became his medium of choice.
Arcand works mainly in soapstone, drawing his inspiration from his deep spirituality and keen belief that there must be a balance in all things.
Of his work he says, “I do not produce art, nor do I create it. I discover the spirit of each stone and together we decide its’ message.”
Leo’s deep spirituality draws him into close contact with the Elders and the traditions they maintain. The drums, songs, ceremonies and the Aboriginal people’s natural affinity with Mother Earth are some of the themes reflected in his work.
When he speaks of his ambition he says, “I have a holistic outlook on life. I want to learn something every day, to be better today than yesterday, not just as an artist, but as a person. Someday I want the young people of my community to say Leo Arcand is a good person. If I work at learning my culture, the teachings of the Elders and the spirit within me I know I will succeed.”
In 2011, Leo was commissioned to create an Aboriginal Ceremonial white stone alter for the Edmonton Remand Centre.
Leo’s works can be found in many private and corporate collection throughout Canada, USA and Europe. Recently, his sculpture “Courage” was chosen as the gift to American President Obama from Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.
To own one of Leo’s works is to have a sculpture with a deep spiritual message. Leo Arcand is an artist who is compelled to leave a legacy of peace, gratitude and connection to all living things.
“When I consider that the stone I use to carve has been waiting there for millions of years to be discovered and transformed into a sculpture, I find it truly amazing,” he explains. “Sometimes I will just sit there with the stone and let it tell me what it wants to be. The images I carve bring to life the stories and traditions of my people, and the stone is the vehicle used to narrate these stories. I pass on my knowledge to inspire and heal, that is the gift I’ve been given.”
The Bearclaw Gallery, located at 10403 124 Street in Edmonton is well-known and highly regarded as a fine Canadian First Nations art dealer and gallery. Over the last three decades, the Bearclaw Gallery has established solid relationships with First Nations artists from across Canada and has proudly promoted Canadian First Nations and Inuit art and artists to buyers both at home and internationally.
For more information and to view the new works in stone by Leo Arcand and on canvas by Jessica Desmoulin visit www.bearclawgallery.com and drop by Bearclaw Gallery during the’ Nurturing the Spirit.’