Phil Gray

Phil Gray

Philip is of Ts’msyen and Cree Descent and was born in Vancouver, BC in 1983. As a child Philip had very little exposure to his culture until he joined a local Tsimshian Dance group. Here he began his life long study of his people’s rich culture and art. In 1998 Philip was hired as a summer youth project worker to apprentice under Salish Artist Gerry Sheena to carve a twenty-one foot totem pole.

Intrigued with his new hobby Philip continued to learn the basic carving techniques with Gerry. In the year 2000 Philip decided to take his hobby more seriously and decided to make it his career. He began studying the basics of Tsimshian Design with his brother Mike Dangeli.

Since then Philip has developed his own style by self-teaching as well as observing and working with fellow artist like Reg Davidson, Lyle Campbell, Jay Simeon, Henry Green, Marcel Russ and David Boxley. In 2001 Philip had a major revelation about his career after taking a three-day class with Master Carver and Haida Artist Robert Davidson.

A student of Classic Tsimshian Design, Philip combines the lessons of the old masters and the contemporary styles of painting to add his own flair to his art.

Philip continues further his culture by being a member of two dance groups. He is the lead dancer of The Lax Kaien Tsimshian dancers, and a co-leader of The Git Hayetsk Dancers. Philip has had the honor to practice his art and dancing in British Columbia, Ontario, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, China and Malaysia. Philip’s works include masks, totem poles, dance regalia, drums, panels and bent wood boxes, and can be seen in numerous galleries and private collections around the United States and Canada.

“I am extremely grateful to the past generations for keeping the art alive, they have given me the opportunity to make the art my life. As one of the new generation of carvers, I know I will be one of the artists to take this art form to the next level.”