Haida Artist and Carver
“Greatness lies within each and every one of us. It is entirely up to you to have the courage to tap into it.” – Lyle R. Campbell
Lyle Campbell is of the Sta-Sta-aas, Songalth Tribe of the Kaighani People of Haida Gwaii. He is a member of the Eagle Clan of the Edenshaw family. Lyle is a talented artist, carver and entrepreneur.
From a young age, Lyle was drawing and at the age of 14, he began carving. He spent two years studying formal design at the Gitanmax School of Northwest Coast Art in K’san. Lyle is presently living and working his craft in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
With nearly 30 years of experience, Lyle has had the privilege of working with many talented artists and has created numerous pieces of art. Campbell has incredibly diverse skills and is best known for his carvings in red cedar, yellow cedar, alder, yew, and argillite. He has also worked with several other mediums, including gold and silver engraving, original paintings and limited-edition prints. Lyle has designed and carved nine totem poles which ranged between eight and twelve feet in height. In addition, his works have been held in private collections and galleries around the world. Campbell’s “White Raven” mask is currently on permanent display at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. Lyle’s unique formline design has also been featured on a mural adorning a private aircraft of an American business executive.
Following a 10-year hiatus from the art world, Lyle has reinvented himself as an artist and carver. His newfound inspiration originates from his connection to the natural world, the power and beauty of Haida Gwaii, and the cultural songs and dance of the Haida People. During this time, he also developed a new style, utilizing more free-flowing design, applying bright colours and incorporating a playful and contemporary perspective.
Lyle worked as a foreman for several years, but his passion for carving and drawing remained strong. One day, he decided to resign from his position and venture back into the world of art. Lyle heard about the ACE Program from a family member and joined the program shortly after his resignation. The ACE Program offered Lyle the perfect opportunity to relaunch his career as an artist and use entrepreneurial knowledge to expand his reach. Lyle explained, “the ACE Program opened my eyes to a new way of presenting myself as an artist”. He was able to research growing trends in the art world and learned how to better sell his work through a website, social media and in person. Lyle expressed “the program filled me with new confidence”, allowing him to present himself as a “professional”. Through the mentorship, Campbell was able to connect with a successful prominent artist, who he used as a “sounding board” and was about to gain further connections.
“Taking the ACE Program was the best thing I could have done for myself in my return to the life of an Artist. The skills I picked up I still apply daily. I’m now a professional artist working on a level I only dreamt about before.” – Lyle Campbell
We at the ACE Program are honoured to have the opportunity to work with Lyle as he continues on his entrepreneurial journey as an artist. We are excited to see what the future has in store for Lyle. For more information about Lyle visit his website or Instagram.
Currently, Lyle is raising money through Kickstarter to create a 30-foot Haida Memorial Pole to honour and commemorate the life of his mother. To learn more about Lyles initiative or to contribute to his Kickstarter visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/haidamemorialpole/haida-memorial-pole-project/description
Lyle Campbell is a graduate of the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program. As of January 2020, 393 Indigenous Entrepreneurs have graduated from the award-winning ACE Program, which focuses on bridging Indigenous culture with the key elements of entrepreneurship and business creation. The ACE Program is made possible through the collective efforts of our partnering regions, communities, institutions and faculty.