Red Tail Hawk


“This print is a very personal image. It is a representation of my late Grandfather, Frank Wright Sr. During my first commission to carve a story pole for Chief Leschi school in 1996 I was greatly challenged with the responsibility of the lead artist. At the time I was 21 years old and had no prior experience of carving on that scale which was 37 feet tall. The pole was to reflect two stories of our people (Puyallup Nation) and I faced a hard deadline I was struggling to make despite called-in help.
The small carving team worked in an old barn not far from the installation site and one evening I was alone as the sun was setting. I opened up the double doors and sat down questioning how I was going to make it through to the deadline and all that it entailed. I had noticed before a red tail hawk that perched outside the doors and when I asked others about seeing him they said they didn’t notice. It was on this evening I felt my lowest and I looked up to see him there. I looked in his eyes and something about him stuck me very clear that it was my grandfather supporting me in the absence of others. It was in this realization that I found the energy to pull through and complete the work. Although others didn’t see him I realized later that he was not there for them, but for me.”

-Shaun Peterson / Qwalsius