Born 1953, British Columbia
Val Malesku was born in British Columbia in 1953 to a Romanian father and a Cree mother. She moved to Haida Gwaii, BC in 1972 where she pursued a variety of occupations including gold prospecting and commercial fishing. She began working with silver and gold in 1981 and has perfected her skills in Northwest Coast formline, learning alongside some of the finest contemporary Haida artists, including Bill Reid, and Reg Davidson. Her work and friendship with Reid has had an important influence on her art and life. She has been active within the Haida culture and ceremony for many decades.
Malesku is also an accomplished sewer, well known for her button blankets, ceremonial vests and dance regalia. Although she is trained mostly as a jeweller she has also worked in wood and paper. In 2012, she won an award through YVR and was commissioned to create a series of street banners that lined the streets on the approach to the Vancouver International Airport. That same year she released her first Serigraph edition. The popular print "Salmon Eggs Unleashed" is a Northwest Coast expansion of a "dot" pattern made famous by British Artist Damien Hirst. The print, like all of Malesku's work, is an interesting blend of a modern contemporary aesthetic and the traditional formline of the Haida.