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Comox artist to donate 20 per cent of profits from sale of sculpture to YANA

Wes Seeley seeks to sell his monumental 10-feet wooden sculpture featuring two bald eagles
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Comox artist Wes Seeley has pledged to donate 20 percent of the profits from the sale of his sculpture featuring two eagles to YANA. (Scott Stanfield / Comox Valley Record)

In early October, woodcarver Wes Seeley was about to leave the Valley, en route to Abu Dhabi.

The purpose of this trip was to sell his most ambitious sculpture to date to a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family.

As the artist prepared to depart, having stored the monumental 10-foot wood carving depicting two eagles locking talons in a battle for a diamondback snake, his plan fell flat.

In a dramatic turn of events, the Israel-Gaza war broke out on Oct. 7, leading to the suspension of the transaction between the two parties.

“I was all set to go,” said Seeley. “I had the crate on the back of my truck and headed to Vancouver to get on the plane… to Abu Dhabi,” said Seeley.

Despite the last-minute change in plans, Seeley maintained a positive outlook. As the transaction is on hold, Seeley is open to selling the piece locally and invites anyone interested in his sculpture to make an offer.

If Seeley was to sell his art piece in the Valley, he pledged to donate 20 per cent of the profits to YANA (You Are Not Alone), a local non-profit organization that holds a special place in his heart.

“YANA is probably the most amazing organization that I could give money to,” said Seeley. “They helped so many people, (including my family). I couldn’t hook up with a better organization.”

Seeley’s commitment resonated deeply with Kelly Barnie, YANA’s executive director.

“We were as excited about Wes’s incredibly generous plan to donate 20 percent of his sale proceeds as we were awestruck by the beauty and craftsmanship of the sculpture he is selling,” said Barnie. “We are extremely grateful that he has chosen to make this contribution to YANA.”

Seeley, who drew inspiration from his experience as a boom boat navigator around the Island, started carving in his free time. Over the years, his projects have become increasingly more ambitious.

“It’s interesting because since I started building eagles 13 years ago, every project got (bigger) if you will and has more and more detail,” said Seeley.

Upon retiring, wood carving became the man’s full-time occupation, culminating in his most ambitious work to date - the two eagles - which took a year of dedication and countless 10-hour days to complete, using mainly material that he locally sourced on the Island.

“(Most of) the wood I use is reclaimed,” shared Seeley. “In my younger days, working in logging camps up and down the coast, I would rummage through big burn piles. There were yellow cedar logs with a bit of rot in the middle that they couldn’t export. I would go around these piles, cut off chunks, and bring them home. They’ve been drying ever since. It’s worth its weight in gold now.”

For inquiries about the wood carving or to schedule a viewing, contact Seeley at 250-465-2302 or via email at seeleywesley64@gmail.com.



Olivier Laurin

About the Author: Olivier Laurin

Olivier is a bilingual multimedia journalist from Montréal, Québec. He possesses a deep curiosity and a passion for exploring the connections between people and their communities.
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