Lyam Donetz

My name is G̱ usdidzas I received a name from the House of Wígvíɫba Wákas at my traditional wedding to his granddaughter the name is ƛ̓ áqvabálá (thla-gwa-bala) translating roughly to supernatural adze and my english name is Lyam Donetz. I am a Kwakwaka’wakw artist from the Kwakiutl and Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations on Vancouver Island. I was born in Vancouver, BC in 1999 and I grew up in Kingcome Inlet and Fort Rupert, BC.

Seeing masks being danced in our sacred potlatch ceremonies inspired my love for our culture through art. By attending those potlatches I grew up participating in our potlatch system and I work to follow the values of our bighouse day by day.

I started my journey towards art through the COVID-19 pandemic under the apprenticeship of Hereditary Chief Walas Namugwis David Knox. Art makes up the cultural identity written in my history.

Through my relationship with my wife and her family I have connected with and have the honor of being trained in the Haiłzaqv style of design and carving under Hereditary Chief and master carver C̓ uwagilawk Larry Campbell.

I draw designs through the influence of artists such as Beau Dick, Willie Seaweed and Captain Carpenter.

 Outside of carving and art I am completing my degree in Education at the University of British Columbia. When I finish my school my goal is to move to my community and connect with youth through art and culture.

Art is my language and my safe space.

Sort by