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DENNIS SHORTY

Dennis Shorty is of Kaska heritage and has lived most of his life near Ross River, Yukon ( YT ).

By watching his grandfather and father carve traditional tools and toys, Dennis became interested in art. For him, making art is a spiritual path and a way to communicate with his ancestors.Carving natural materials, including moose , caribou and deer antler, muskox and sheep horn, and wood, he achieves his refined and detailed imagery using a variety of hand and power tools.

Acknowleding their importance to the survival of First Nation people, Dennis carves animals to honour them. When depicting humans, he will include their animal totem, relating the work to the idea of transformation and legend. He utilizes natural pigment derived from cranberries, coffee or tea for accent colours and to archieve the traditional Kaska colours such as red, which is considered sacred and blue which represents the sky.

The Yukon Art Centre Public Art Gallery, Whitehorse, YT, has included Dennis’ work in two exhibitions, and in 2008, he participated in the First Nation Art Festival , Whitehorse, YT, where he received the People’s Choice Award. In 2009, Dennis received an award from the Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture, to participate in the Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik, NT. Dennis was selected, as one of ten Yukon First Nation visual artists, to present his artwork at the Olympic Winter Games 2010 in Vancouver. Dennis received a grant from the Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture, to have a solo art exhibition followed by a group art exhibition in Germany in May and June 2010. He won the Yukon Tourism Champion Award 2010.

Dennis also had a solo exhibition in Luckenwalder Heimat Museum in May 2010 and in Königs Wusterhausen in May- June 2011 in Germany.


His art work is in private, national and international art collections and included in the Kaska Dena Council, Ross River,YT, and the Yukon Permanent Art Collection , Whitehorse, YT, and was purchased for presentation to the Premier of British Columbia and the Governor General of Canada.

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