ABOUT COMMISSIONING WORKS
LaTiesha Fazakas’ portfolio includes many commissions and management of large scale projects such as custom totem poles in the 30′-35′ range. Her knowledge base and experience cover a wide range of projects tailored to the individual or corporate collector. Artists are carefully selected for each commission. We draw from established relationships and create challenging opportunities for artists and designers. Art Commissions are a means of expressing a personal or corporate narrative, giving the owners an opportunity to visually communicate their story.
Totem poles can tell personal or institutional narratives with powerful visuals steeped in the traditions of the past. Finding the artist who can best depict your story can be as personal as it is overwhelming. Fazakas Gallery & artWISE consulting works with you to first choose the artist who can best represent your story through their work. We do this by getting a thorough understanding of the story you wish to tell and then going through the portfolios of our artists with you. We work with you through every part of the commission to ensure that the process goes smoothly for you and the artist. We handle the development of the piece from concept to installation so that your expectations are met, and the artist simply has to do what he or she does best – carve.
Commissions range in size and complexity. Fazakas Gallery is expert in handling both small and large scale projects. Working with both established and up and coming artists, we insure a smooth journey for the client in achieving an exceptional work. Please contact us to see our portfolio.
TOTEM POLE HISTORY
Since totem poles are made from wood, which decays, when they first appeared on the Pacific Northwest Coast is unclear. However, early explorers in the 1700’s noted their presence. This would indicate that the tradition was well established before western contact. Early poles were smaller and less in number than those created the 1880’s boom. During this time many monumental poles were erected.
Today totem poles have also become an artistic means of expressing personal or corporate narratives, giving owners the opportunity to visually communicate their story.
Totem poles, each carved from a single trunk, are among the largest works created by Northwest Coast artists. Traditionally, free-standing totem poles were placed before houses to proclaim the identity and status of the owners; some, called housefront poles, stood up against the centre front of houses. These and other types of poles were carved or carved and decorated with paint to display the owners’ family history, ancestors, crests and myths.
Outsiders cannot always interpret the family history or identify the ancestors but often recognize some of the crests. The saying “low man on the totem” is a misconception, as the bottom figure is not necessarily the least important; often the figures at eye level are the most important. When a pole is raised, the history it tells is publicly declared, along with the names, rights and property of the owner.