Gary was born into the Eagle clan of Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, in 1958. He is the fifth child of nine born to Harold Minaker and Elanor Russ. Taught to carve at age 14 by his brother, Ed, and sister-in-law, Fay, Gary apprenticed under them for a number of years while learning the stories, forms and tools that are essential to his craft. While working as a logger and fisherman, Gary continued his studies while refining his skill with chisels until 1980, when he devoted himself fully to his art.
Taking his inspiration from such past masters as Charles Edenshaw and Issac Chapman, Gary, though a contemporary First Nations artist, carves traditionally in both form and content: leaving his work unpolished in the traditional way, with a tool-finished grey/black matte surface. Each carving is an original in design and is reflective of both Gary’s spiritual and cultural heritage, while showing a clear understanding of three dimensional sculptures that Haida artisans are renowned for.
Gary works predominantly in argillite, though he has worked in other mediums such as soapstone, wood and silver castings. His work has been featured in books, gallery exhibits, museums and private collections worldwide.
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