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Marcel Russ was born in Queen Charlotte City on Haida Gwaii but he is from the Masset Raven Clan. Marcel's family are well-known argillite carvers, and so Marcel was greatly influenced by his father, noted argillite carver, Ron Russ and his uncle, Chris Russ. Marcel first started carving argillite under the direction of his father when he was eight, and began carving wood when he was twelve. Since that time he has emerged as one of the top jewellers and argillite carvers of his generation. He has gained experience in many different media, and with some of the most notable Northwest Coast artists such as Jim Hart, Phil Janze and Dempsey Bob with his greatest teacher being Fred Davis.
Russ’ intricate jewellery pieces are carved in silver and gold, sometimes combining argillite and other kinds of wood to produce one of a kind works. While much of his artwork is based on traditional Haida legends and stories, Russ pushes the envelope with his contemporary forms and designs.
In 1999, Marcel exhibited with his father at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 2002 Russ completed a 22 ft pole for the Museum of Northern BC, Prince Rupert, establishing him as a serious artist.
Currently, Russ is exploring the movement of transforming identities: the animal and human world, the changing shapes of the Raven, the Human, the Sea Wolf and the Killer Whale. In the future, Russ plans to write a book about his art and the culture of his people. He currently resides in Vancouver, BC.
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