Kris began to
carve in November 1989, as a hobby. After working in the
auto body business for 16 years, Kris' hands were near crippled from
overuse. Doctors told him his hands would never work well
again. As therapy, and to provide gifts to family and loved ones
for the holidays, Kris began to carve. The creative ability he
possessed since childhood came to life in his work.
Kris Nahrgang is an Ojibway Treaty Indian, and is
currently the elected Chief of his community, Kawartha Nishnawbe First
Nation. Kris lives with his family in Big Cedar, Ontario, about
40 minutes north of Peterborough. His home is located close to the site of the
Peterborough Petroglyphs which dates back over a thousand years and is recognized
as the largest single concentration of rock carvings in Canada.
Kris' art is a continuation of this spirit and
tradition of rock carving. His style has a balance of innovative,
modern and traditional elements which have led to a growing recognition
of his work across Canada and the world. His work has been noted
in art periodicals including Insight, Art Impression and Collectibles,
as well as MacLeans Magazine. In 1992, one of his pieces, "Spirit
of the Earth" was presented to former U.S. President George Bush.
Also, a painting named "Reunion" was presented to the Duke of York,
Prince Andrew and now hangs in his private office in Buckingham
Palace. In the summer of 1994, Kris was chosen to represent
Canada at the Festival de Reviers in Normandy, France. Kris
joined 6 other top Canadian Native artists for the 50 year anniversary
Allied Invasion. In 1995, Kris presented a sculpture entitled
"Trails of Nobility" to His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, on behalf of
Lakefield College School. One of the more recent
commissions Kris has completed is for
International Vision Calls / 2020: This resulted in the
a very special eagle carving to Nelson Mandela.
Among Kris' accomplishments is the creation of a
Native Soapstone Sculpting Course which has been a successful healing
program. This course is bringing great attention to Art Therapy
agencies across Ontario which include carving as well as counseling.
Kris' work combines the use of traditional Native
symbols and images with the outlook of a contemporary artist. He
regards himself as a "storyteller in stone" and he seeks to "bring
forth the spirit of the stone to release its beauty as a treasure that
will endure, and last for eternity".
carving, or getting ready for shows, Kris other passions, scuba diving
and archaeology come together. Since finding a 1500 year old
Native pot in 50 feet of water, his life has been changed. Curiosity as to the pots origins
and ultimately his own peoples past, he began a quest for knowledge that brought him to re-entering
school to receive his Archaeology Degree at Trent University,
Kris is now an advocate of archaeology and the knowledge that can be
gained from the proper investigation of material culture.
Traveling, and speaking with many groups (Native, Governmental,
Educational etc.) Kris is attempting to provide awareness in the
necessity to preserve and document the history of not only his people, but the Province, and
Recently, Jennifer Gwilliam and Myself have combined forces to offer
our services as archaeologists, First Nations Liaisons, Divers, and
Heritage Consultants. Cultural
Explorers hire out our services as consultants
specializing in underwater archaeology and First Nations communication
and Liaison work. Please visit our web site at the link above!
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