Michelle Stoney carved this pumpkin on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at her brother's home where their family gathers each year to carve pumpkins for Halloween. (Michelle Stoney, Gitxsan Artist Facebook photo)

Gitxsan artist carves culture in Halloween pumpkin

Michelle Stoney spent more than three hours on her latest holiday creation

Pumpkin carving amongst family is an annual Halloween tradition for Indigenous artist Michelle Stoney.

For more than three hours she had worked on carving an intricate detailed pumpkin featuring her love of Northwest Coast form line which she includes in every piece of art she completes.

Taking a few breaks in between to catch Hocus Pocus and enjoy bites of dessert with her family on Wednesday at her brother’s home in Hazelton, Stoney said she and her siblings always go over the top each year with their carvings.

“I used my carving tools that I would normally use to carve wood,” she said noting wood is much easier to work with.

Read More: Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Stoney graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2012 with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

As a child she would sit and watch her late grandfather, Victor Mowatt, in awe as he would design and draw his master carvings.

Today, Stoney is excited about collaborating with her brother Alex on a new art show.

With her stunningly carved pumpkin sitting outside her studio, Stoney plans on dressing up her dog Daisy as Wonder Woman this Oct. 31.

“Hopefully it will inspire other people to carve new things on pumpkins showing their culture and just being proud of their culture,” she said.

“I’d love to see that.”

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