Cheryl Wadhams traditional name is ‘Ka’kaSolas. She is a member of the ‘Namgis Nation.
“I have been creating art since my youth. I learned to carve and design from my late uncles Lloyd Wadhams, Don Dawson and Dennis Matilpi. I admire the works of renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists Mungo Martin, Willie Seaweed and Ellen Neel.”
All of the above have influenced Cheryl’s works, from carving to line drawing and the making of traditional regalia.
Cheryl says that tradition is an important aspect of Northwest coast art. “I can say for sure that NWC art has to have a thread that goes back to tradition. It speaks to who we are and where we come from. It is no where else in the world. We are distinct peoples with complex cultures and languages. The (artists) in a traditional and cultural sense are obligated to keep that continuity/tradition.”
Cheryl continues, “Creativity comes from the heart. And traditional Indigenous art comes from understanding and learning.”
Cheryl feels honoured and privileged to be connected to her potlatch system where everyone holds traditional names, dances and positions.
“It is a lifetime of learning that I humbly respect and have chosen to carry the torch forward for my family and Nation.”