Colourful Comox Valley artist dead at 85

Comox Valley artist, sculptor and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts George Sawchuk passed away Thursday at the age of 85.

Comox Valley artist George Sawchuk passed away Thursday morning at the age of 85.

Comox Valley artist George Sawchuk passed away Thursday morning at the age of 85.

Comox Valley artist, sculptor and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts George Sawchuk passed away Thursday morning at the age of 85.

Sawchuk was best known not only within the Valley for his mixed-media art but within the British Columbia and Canadian arts communities.

The self-taught sculptor, who was born in Kenora, Ont., rejected formal education at 13 years old to begin a 38-year career as a labourer.

According to his biography, a construction accident left Sawchuk facing amputation to one of his legs, which left him with the time which enabled him to explore his artistic interests.

He began exploring art using a chainsaw to carve nooks in trees where he placed items such as books, glass and metal.

For decades, Sawchuk created his outdoor gallery on a four-acre property in Fanny Bay. Paths through the forest allow people to view his pieces which combine metal, mirrors, glass, tools, lights and other found objects.

On his website, Sawchuk noted his perspective on art was influenced from his childhood and training at a traditional Roman Catholic school and his studying of Marx at a remote logging camp, combined with the hard realities of working class life and his daily encounters with nature.

See Wednesday’s Comox Valley Record for more.

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