Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Edgar Frank

Tahltan, Tlingit


Edgar Frank was born in 1962 in Telegraph Creek a remote community in Northern British Columbia near the Alaskan border. He is a member of the Raven clan. He began to paint at a very young age and he is now a renowned realist painter as well as carving and painting in traditional Tahltan Tlingit style.

In his late teens, he was in a serious snowmobile accident and lost the majority use of one arm. He left the arts temporary and worked in the mines in both Telegraph Creek and near Terrace. While in Terrace he was reunited with his two cousins, Stan Bevan and Ken McNeil, who were now established Northwest Coast carvers. Both of these artists had been formally trained in apprenticeship programs with their uncle, master Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob.

Edgar was hired by Dempsey to paint the designs for several of the major commissions that were in progress at the time, including a private commission for a totem pole in Calgary Alberta and a major totem pole for a public building in Japan. This experience encouraged Edgar to return to both painting and carving.

He began carving with his cousins on a part time basis and this relationship continues to the present. He still works part time with the mines as his limited mobility effects his overall production and the opportunity to carve full time. He also divides his time between carving and representation painting as well as contracts to do finely painted designs on masks and monumental sculptures.

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Artist Contemporaries