Henry Smith (1931 - 1996)

ARTIST PROFILE

Henry Smith (1931 - 1996) Folk artist Henry C. Smith was born on February 7, 1931 in Mechanic Settlement, Albert County, New Brunswick to a Cree Indian mother.

He learned to carve wood as a child, encouraged by his father and grandfather, as they whittled small animals and wooden spoons. His creations of deer and fawns carved into the hardwood of his school desktop were less appreciated.

At age ten he began working in the woods by day and carving at night in a routine which would last throughout his working life as a tradesman in carpentry and mold making.

His works were well known in the Sussex area, where visitors could see his sculptures displayed in his yard. His carvings are much appreciated throughout the Maritimes.

Henry retired due to poor health and devoted most of his time to the carving of his people, animals of the forest and symbols of his people. He was always willing to share his experiences and knowledge of wood carving art.

His carvings were shown throughout the Maritimes. In the summer of 1992 his "Pole of Life", a 14 meter long white pine carving was part of an outdoor exhibition at Assumption Square in Moncton and was shown on CTV's W5, resulting in many inquiries from across Canada.

In April 1993 his carvings were shown, along with paintings by Micmac artist Roger Simon, in an exhibition at Gallery 78 in Fredericton.

Henry's three-part sculpture "Adam and Eve and the Serpent" was acquired for the collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, P.E.I. This work had previously been on exhibit at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario.