Carving a balanced life

George Hemeon’s first solo art show is on display at the Mission Arts Centre gallery until July 2.

The works of local carver George Hemeon will be on display at the Mission Arts Centre until July 2.

The works of local carver George Hemeon will be on display at the Mission Arts Centre until July 2.

George Hemeon’s first solo art show is on display at the Mission Arts Centre gallery until July 2.

The show called Creating Balance, is a collection of Hemeon’s carvings, including masks, paddles, drums, and pendants. There are also images of Hemeon’s recent works.

The theme, he says, is a personal reflection of balancing family, work and art.

“It is also an expression of how Aboriginal people can reconcile western institutions with traditional values and teachings,” Hemeon added.

Hemeon is a self-taught carver and relatively new to the scene, but he has already completed some large projects he was commissioned to produce.

In 2009, he carved a 20-foot house post for Mission’s sister city, Oyama, Japan. He also carved two 18-foot welcome figures for BC Hydro in the same year. Both projects accelerated his leaning and he continues to improve his skills.

Hemeon discovered he enjoyed carving when he began mentoring Aboriginal students in 2005, but he didn’t pick up the craft again until three years later, when he moved back to Mission with his wife Teresa and sons Harrison and Garrett and received some small commissions.

Hemeon says carving brings balance to his life.

“I grew up disconnected from my Salish culture and carving has allowed my family and me to connect with the community,” he explained.

Hemeon mostly works with yellow and red cedar, but you can also find alder and yew among his treasures. He likes the density of the yellow cedar and yew and the grain of the red cedar and alder. All of them have been used by the Salish people for hundreds of years.

When he’s not carving, Hemeon works as a senior procurement advisor for BC Hydro.

Currently the local carver is working on four 10-foot directional houseposts for Douglas College in New Westminster.

Hemeon will be carving at the art centre this Saturday, and invites guests to stop by. The Mission Arts Centre is located at 33529 First Ave. Gallery hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information call 604-826-0029.

For more information about Hemeon, visit www.georgehemeon.com.