“People’s eyes are opening up now and they’re interested in Salish art,” points out Stan Greene, who is a major force in Salish art today. He works in watercolours, cedar wood and silk-screen prints.
In 1978, at the age of twenty-five, Stan produced his first Salish prints, inspired by carved Spindle Whorls, used by the Salish as a tool to spin Mountain Goat wool. At this point in time he actively began to pursue a revival of his forefathers’ heritage. Because of the overwhelming influence of European culture in the Fraser Valley, and because of the privacy among the various nations, it prevented the northern nations from sharing their art with the Salish people. “The wood carvers in the north thought it was amusing that I wanted to carve,” Stan recalls of the ‘Ksan, “They laughed, and said the Salish people did not know how to carve.”
Nevertheless, Stan spent six months in 1975 learning from northern carvers, living near Hazelton, and his former hobby has become his profession. “I always wanted to do Salish carving”, he explains, “but there was no market until I started to do the Spindle Whorl designs.”
Salish representation is more “Life-like” and realistic in comparison to northern tradition. Greene now lives with his wife and three daughters, where he plans to continue “To try to bring out the Salish, the way it was.”