Stó:lō Carver Rocky LaRock Receives Recognition and Support from the Canada Council for the Arts

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Abbotsford, BC – The Reach Gallery Museum pleased to announce that current exhibition E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The WildInside has received a major boost from the Canada Council for the Arts. In addition to providing a substantial financial grant for the project, the Canada Council has also recognized that the work of Stó:lō master carver Claude “Rocky” LaRock is of outstanding artistic vision and quality, and that the exhibition makes a significant contribution to the Canadian public’s appreciation for the arts.  

“This recognition from the Canada Council is both exciting and important,” said Curator Adrienne Fast. “Rocky has pursued his art practice for decades, but he’s done so on his own terms and outside of the usual channels of the contemporary art world. Artists like him are not always recognized or supported by the mainstream to the extent that they deserve.”
“It is truly an honour to share Rocky’s work and his story with a wider audience,” Fast continued. “The fact that the Canada Council has recognized the importance of his work is the icing on the cake.”

E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The Wild Inside is a long overdue acknowledgement of LaRock’s remarkable 40-year career. Born in Seattle, as a child LaRock moved with his family to his mother’s Coast Salish home territory where he still resides, in the community of Sts’ailes (Chehalis) in the Fraser Valley. His practice is inseparable from his Stó:lō identity and his relationships to community, family, and land. He has mastered the skills, techniques, and stories of traditional hand-carving, but he is equally committed to experimentation, incorporating contemporary elements and techniques, creating carvings intended solely for display, and using a unique visual language to express contemporary, global concerns through the lens of a Stó:lō cosmology. This exhibition is the first occasion for a breath of LaRock’s creative practice to be brought together and exhibited at a public gallery. The financial support provided by the Canada Council will be used to augment the in-person exhibition experience with a series of videos that will feature LaRock sharing some of the stories behind the various works in the exhibition. These videos will be launched online, and will help make LaRock’s work accessible to an even wider audience. In addition, an exhibition brochure will be published to create a tangible record of the exhibition.

E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The Wild Inside continues at The Reach until May 8, 2021. The Reach has implemented a number of changes to ensure that patrons have a safe and enjoyable visit. These include hand sanitizing stations, physical distancing measures, directional signage, and an increased cleaning schedule.  

Hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm. Admission is by donation.

Image: Rocky La Rock, The Northlander, 2019, maple wood, horse hair, leather, 45 x 21 x 9 in., Photo by David Campion