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Wood | Keith Wolfe Smarch

Meet Carcross artist KEITH WOLFE SMARCH

Keith Wolfe Smarch is a full-time carver who works in the Tlingit style. He carves panels, masks, dance screens and totem poles and designs regalia. Keith belongs to the generation of Yukon artists who established the use of Tlingit art forms, sometimes with a considerable amount of effort. When Keith first became interested in Tlingit art in the early 1980s, he found nothing of the like in the Yukon, in terms of neither art nor expertise. Consequently, he traveled to British Columbia, where he studied under Dempsey Bob and Freda Diesing.

Many years ago, as Carcross-Tagish First Nation struggled to create a vision for the future, they built a carving shed in the middle of the community. As a master carver, Keith chose to take a role at the heart of Carcross’s revitalization. He is passionate about teaching and has overseen dozens of artistic and cultural projects: Murals, totems, ceremonial objects, hats and carvings, youth mentorship, trapping education. In addition, Keith welcomes visitors to the carving shed on the Carcross waterfront where he shares stories about his community, his culture and his artwork. Keith is a member of the Daklaweidi clan.