The Respect To Bill Reid Pole
blank Oliver Bell
He has always appreciated...

Oliver Bell - Haida Artist

Oliver Bell was born and raised in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii. He was taught to respect life and to carry on his family's tradition of fishing by his uncle, Wesley Bell. Oliver turned his knowledge of fishing into a business and commercially fished salmon and halibut for many years.

He has always appreciated the Haida carvings and is amazed at the knowledge expressed by generations of carvers in every village. He would watch the carvers as they worked with wood and argillite, and often visited Jim Hart at his home (Shark House) in Old Massett to watch him carve sculptures and totem poles.

When Jim gave him an opportunity to carve, he was willing to learn. He first collaborated with Jim on the Yan pole in 1988. In 2000 he learned to make carving tools, and began to help Jim on "The Respect to Bill Reid Pole." He worked on the pole from the start, until it was raised on October 1, 2000. Oliver enjoys carving with Jim and plans to continue learning about the art form.

Copyright 2002