Dolly Garza - Textile Artist
Meet Dolly Garza
Dolly Garza was born in Ketchikan, Alaska and is Kaigani Haida. Dolly moved to Skidegate, Haida Gwaii ten years ago after retiring as a professor with the University of Alaska. She is now a full-time artist and is well-known for her weaving and the many beautiful pieces she has produced over the years.
Dolly has a PhD in Marine Policy and has served on a number of marine life commission boards. She employs her environmental knowledge when gathering materials that she uses in her artwork and practices sustainable harvesting methods. In fact, gathering materials is an integral part of the whole creative process for her. She revels in the solitude, quiet and peacefulness of its forests and beaches while gathering supplies. She also enjoys gathering wild food, particularly seaweed. Dolly authored, “Common Edible Seaweeds of Alaska” and she continues to teach seaweed identification and sustainable harvesting workshops. Dr. Garza taught seaweed workshops throughout Alaska’s coast from Kodiak to Prince of Wales.
Dolly loves her Haida Gwaii home and its small, close, familiar feel. She appreciates that it is clean and largely unspoiled by development and human activity, thanks to the respect that residents pay to its environment. She also appreciates the fact that there are so many other wonderful artists who also call this place home. She is continually inspired by their talent and diverse skills and their committment to keeping Haida culture alive through art.
Original. Creative. Traditional. Contemporary.
Dolly Garza is a weaver who works with a variety of materials in her “usable art.” As a weaver, Dolly is skilled in the traditional Haida arts of cedar bark and spruce root basket weaving using jointed grass and maiden hair fern for design work. Dolly is also a Raven’s Tail and Chilkat weaver and completed a Raven’s Tail robe for her husband, Russ Jones, when he stepped up as a house-chief. She studied the various art forms under such artists as Delores Churchill, Teri Rofkar, Willie White, Evelyn Vanderhoop, Holly Churchill and Diane Douglas-Willard. Throughout the years her own distinctive style has emerged and evolved, and she is especially known for her spruce root hats and baskets. Today, Dolly draws much of her inspiration from her adopted home of Skidegate on Haida Gwaii and its marvellous seaside setting. Dolly gathers most of the raw materials that she works with from various places around Haida Gwaii. She has a deep connection to and a great respect for Haida Gwaii’s natural environment and harvests her natural materials sustainably.
In addition to weaving, Dolly is also skilled in Haida applique work and sewing. Dolly’s work has been exhibited in numerous shows and galleries, including Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver. She has received awards for her pieces, including Best in Class at the Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was the basketry winner at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market in 2010 in Phoenix, AZ.
- Skidegate, BC
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