(1955 – Present, Haisla)
Haisla artist Lyle Wilson was born in 1955 in the community of Kitamaat Village. Lyle’s exposure to his cultural roots nurtured a conscious appreciation of Haisla art and its importance in his cultural traditions. One of his first artistic influences was his uncle, Sam Robinson, who served as a course of fascination and intrigue for the budding artist. Despite his interest, Lyle did not pursue a career as an artist until 1978, when he enrolled at the University of British Columbia with the intent of pursuing a career in art education. Lyle’s university experience led him to realize that he preferred the studio component of his education, and he eventually left to pursue his artistic interests at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, graduating with a diploma in printmaking in 1986.
Lyle’s graphic works have since been exhibited broadly in Canada and the United States. In 1987, Lyle collaborated with the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s graphic designer, Bill McLennan, on an image-recovery project. This led to a greater role coordinating the Native Longhouse Project. This required him to oversee the design and production of six long houses, representing six different tribal groups and designed to respect historical architectural forms, which were later installed in the Grand Hall of the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization). In the decades since then, Lyle has continued to create stunning works of art inspired by his cultural heritage. He has since expanded his repertoire to include wood carvings and jewelry. Lyle also became the first Northwest Coast artist to have his work collected by the Canada Council Art Bank Collection in Ottawa, Ontario. Today Lyle’s work can be found in prominent public, corporate, and private collections in Canada, Europe, and Asia.