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Terrence Campbell
TLINGIT/ATHABASCAN SILVERSMITH

Terrence Campbell is on a journey of cultural enlightenment. His story-and his journey-begins in his Alaska home, where he was taught from childhood to respect the stories and the storytellers of his culture. At 15, he translated those stories into paintings. Seven years later, he sought a different medium to explore those stories-woodcarving masks, plaques and totems. Together with his sister, Dale Campbell (the last of the Tahltan female carvers in the Northwest Territories, and considered a master carver), Terrence carved totems reaching thirty feet. In his search to express himself and his love of his culture, Terrence eventually focused his skill in carving wood toward engraving in gold and silver. In 2000, his devotion to ever-expanding his skill, his knowledge and his art was rewarded with an invitation to the Canadian Cultural Show in Phoenix, Arizona-where Terrence found himself on the journey of his lifetime.

Terrence says, "As a child, I was told stories of a group of our ancestors who had traveled to the Southwest, so it was thrilling for me to meet some of the local Native Americans. The jewelry of the Southwest was so beautiful that I wanted to learn how it was made."

Within three years, Terrence moved to Ganado, Arizona, the heart of the Navajo Nation, where he lives today in a traditional lifestyle on the Navajo Reservation. One of the artists Terrence met was Ric Charlie, world renowned for his Tufa-cast creations, and Terrence found himself learning from the hands of the master one of the oldest forms of Navajo silverwork.

Terrence also teaches Karate on the reservation and says, "I believe my work is a teaching tool to educate our young people, through the form of art." He is continually looking for connections, expressing those connections through his art and his life. "I believe I was born to create art in today's culture, through stories with other nations and tribes, so that they can become educated about the Tahltan people, their art, culture and traditions. Through my art, I have been able to connect with my ancestors by creating jewelry that has brought Northwest and Southwest influences and cultures together."

The spirit of yearning for understanding and knowledge imbues Terrence's work, creating a new and unique style of art. Through his art, the stories, culture, and traditions of his people continue to compel him on his journey. In September 2007, "Native Peoples" magazine, named Terrence as one of the top 20 Native American Silversmiths/Artists. Where his journey takes him next is written in his own destiny.