Cori grew-up in Gatineau, Quebec and it was there that her mother introduced her to her Haida heritage, through visits to the Canadian Museum of History. After spending most of her childhood and adolescence in Quebec, she moved to Haida Gwaii in 2001. Between 2003 and 2006, she honed her drawing and carving skills, and completed several design workshops with acclaimed Haida artist, Robert Davidson. In 2007, Cori received a YVR Art Foundation Youth Scholarship which enabled her to study under Robert’s brother, Reg Davidson. Another highlight of her young career was dancing in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In 2012, Cori was again recognized by the YVR Art Foundation, winning the Frank O’Neill Visionary Award for her cultural vision and artistic determination.
To what extent did receiving a YVR Art Foundation Scholarship have an impact on your career?
The YVR Art Foundation scholarships have directly impacted my career by helping me make the leap from part-time to full-time artist. Having the ability to be immersed in the art and learn from a world-renowned artist such as Reg Davidson has been an amazing experience. Working with a veteran of the art world, you get to learn about the art form, business skills, time management, and the level of commitment necessary to be successful. Since receiving my first YVRAF scholarship, I have completed 8 years of apprenticeship with Reg and have submitted works to multiple gallery group shows. I now work from my own studio space in Skidegate, B.C.
What specific skills did you develop as a result of receiving a YVR Art Foundation Scholarship?
In 2007, I learned the fundamentals of woodcarving. My apprenticeship during that year focused on mask carving. I learned how to transform a two-dimensional scale drawing into a three-dimensional work of art. In 2012, I built upon previous years of apprenticeship with Reg Davidson as my mentor. My goal in 2012 was to work on my tool-finishing skills. That is, achieving a smooth-to-the-touch finish using carving tools only. I applied my experience of mask carving and totem pole carving to my first tool-finished carved panel, which I submitted for my scholarship art work and exhibition at YVR for one year.