Sam Hesse Urban Nature exhibit at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

Tofino art: Sam Hesse

New show at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

the letter 'U'Urban Nature is a series of new Stone Sculptures by artist Sam Hesse.

Sam's passion for sculpture, and his artistic vision have taken him to many places around the world. He has journeyed from Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic to Pietrasanta, the sculpture capital of Italy; from Michelangelo's marble quarries to Shanghai, China. In China he was a commissioned sculptor for a Sichuan Earthquake Memorial, as well as gallery curator at the Fellini Gallery in Shanghai's French Quarter.

His work is in private collections around the globe, and has been exhibited in galleries in Whistler, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Ladysmith, Saltspring Island, and Vancouver.
Urban nature is a continuance of Hesse's expression of Transformation seen in his earlier work. In this new series, the lifestyles and culture of young male West Coasters are presented as slick, black Cormorants solid in their transition from animal to man, and back again. On the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Urban and the Natural come together in peace to communicate the super-natural union of all beings. Hesse believes that our West Coast boys, who have come from many backgrounds, many countries, distant places....remain here in solidarity, and no matter their origin, young men connect here to appreciate the extant beauty as well as to introduce diversity, and to include their own shared concepts of preservation, creation, and positive change.


In the arctic Hesse learned of the Angakoq, which means 'one who has spirits'. For the Inuit, this Shaman provided stories of animals for the people to connect with, to re-measure the earth through the eyes of the experts - the animals. Transformations of a cultured man's to an animal spirit is seen much in the Inuit stories told by way of sculpture. In this exhibit, Hesse asks us to consider the Cormorant... the master of many mediums dependent on the Sun to facilitate His transition.

sam hesse art

Sam Hesse was born in London, Ontario to a Master Goldsmith and Folk Painter. He carved my first piece at 4 years old - a cast copper ingot with the word 'Dad' on the top; his father still has it on his workbench.

By secondary school Sam was making gold and silver rings and pendants for guys to give to their girls, enclosed in big boxes with short term promises. After his first year of Biology at the University of Western Ontario, Sam emigrated to Australia to complete an undergraduate degree in Immunology and Philosophy, at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Half-way through a Masters in Philosophy, he returned to Canada, opened a gold and silversmith studio at Stratford-on-the-Avon in Ontario, failed miserably, then high-tailed it to the Arctic to have a look around. It was in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut that Sam met Mazdac, an Iranian draft dodger and sharp-shooter hiding away in his water-boiler room carving masterpieces from Soapstone. He carved a Desert Rose.

The Inuit gave him a name "Qupanuaq" - Little White Bird - and said: "In two years you'll be the best carver in all the Arctic". In 2003 Sam moved to the West Coast, where he developed his studio 'New Sun Design' in the Alberni Valley.

In 2007, Sam traveled to Pietrasanta, Italy to study sculpture and to work in marble and silver.

February 13, 2010Sam Hesse's body of art will be featured in the foyer of the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet on February 13, 2010.

The Artist reception will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010 from 5 - 7 in the beautiful foyer of the Black Rock Resort on the oceanfront in Ucluelet.

Tofino Time February 2010

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Tofino artist Sam Hesse works as a carver, primarily in stone. His sculptures are on display at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet this month.

tofino time february 2010