Friends of the Studio
Drew Atkins was born in Victoria BC Canada in 1962. He started carving long before he ever touched a knife to wood. As a young boy he spent many afternoons watching some of the early Masters carve at the Royal History Museum’s Totem Pole Park in Victoria, planting a seed that would take root much later in life.
Drew Apprenticed under renown Master Carver Xwa-lack-tun (Rick Harry) for 8 Years working on many project together.
- 1999 to 2007 Aboriginal Support Worker Langley School District.
- 2004 to 2008 Carving Instructor Brookwood Secondary School Langley School District.
- 2005 Established K’wy’i’ye Spring Salmon Studio at Kwantlen First Nation with his wife Phyllis Atkins a renown Painter and Jeweler Drew works part time in the Film Industry as a Sculptor and scenic Carpenter and has worked on a number of Feature Film Productions.
- Entrance Beam Tribal Sprits Art Gallery / May 2008
- Coast Salish Style Score Board / DW Poppy Secondary School / May-June 2008
- Aldergrove Secondary Schools 50th Anniversary Pole / June-July 2008
- BCGEU Langley Office / 3 Coast Salish House Boards /Aug.-Sept. 2008
- Convocation Mace Kwantlen Polytechnic University 2008
- Spirt BC 150 Th. Anniversary Spirt Square Project / 3 Coast Salish house board June 2009
- Parks Canada Fort Spirit BC 150 / Carved post & beam structure with 4 cut steel panels May 2009
Drew lives with his lovely wife and three children at Kwantlen First Nation where together they run K’wy’i’iy’e Spring Salmon Studio.
Phyllis (Qwoy’tic’a) Atkins
I am Qʼwoyʼticʼa (pronounced K-why-deet-za), the meaning of my name is “I wear the clouds like a blanket” or “Shrouded in clouds,” but I am better known as Phyllis Atkins. My name Qʼwoyʼticʼa comes from the Nɬeʔkepmx language and it was given to me after I was born, November 14, 1970, by my late grandfather (my Momʼs father) Hereditary Chief Anthony Joe of the Shakan Band (Thompson River People), Spences Bridge, BC. Qʼwoyʼticʼa was my Great Grand Auntʼs name and she lived to be 112 years old.
I am also part Sto:lo (People of the river). My late father was Hereditary Grand Chief Joe Gabriel of Kwantlen First Nation (previously known as the Langley Indian Band). My Dad married my Mom Maureen (Gabriel, née Joe), and together they had nine children; Cheryl, Donna, Gary, Carol, Brenda, Marilyn (Currently Chief of Kwantlen), Fern, Me & Scott. We have always lived here in Kwantlen and in 2001, my husband Drew Atkins and me built our beautiful home and live here with our three children; Elinor 14 year old, Noah 9 years old and Deighton 5 years old. Kwantlen First Nation I.R. 6 is located on McMillan Island along the Fraser River in Ft. Langley.
I began oil painting lessons with Barbara Boldt in 1996, at the Barbara Boldt Original Art Studio in Fort Langley. Barbara has taught me everything that I know about oil and pastel painting. Not only is Barbara my teacher, but also sheʼs a very special friend to me and I still go to her place every Wednesday night to paint. In addition, in 2001 I had the wonderful opportunity to learn how to hand-carve silver jewelry by Master Carver Derek Wilson, from Haisla, BC, and sadly Derek passed away September 2011.
In 2005, we established our home based business, Kʼwyʼiʼyʼe Spring Salmon Studio, where both my husband Drew and me own and operate our business creating both Traditional and Contemporary Coast Salish Art, specializing in custom orders. On September 15, 2012, we celebrated the Grand Opening of our
new art gallery located just outside of our home and we welcome the public to visit by appointment.
The Creator has blessed me by bringing people into my life who have shared with me their gifts and I will always cherish them. As an artist, I am influenced by my ancestors, my community and my family, but most of all I am inspired by my husband Drew Atkins who is the best partner in life, my soul mate, a wonderful father and friend, a brilliant carver and artist. Together we are on this great journey with our children, our art, our hopes and dreams and
we continue to grow and learn from each other and from our children, always moving forward into our future.
For a full list of Exhibitions, Publications and Awards for Phyllis’s work, please click here.