artist sam barwick

Tofino Artist Sam Barwick


Sam Barwick arrived in Tofino 14 years ago from New England via the Panama canal on the Sea Shepard. His arrival here by water is a fitting metaphor for Sam’s life. Since the age of 4, swimming and the under water world have been a source of inspiration for him. It’s this other realm that holds such mystery and beauty for him. There are two things that Sam says have given rise to his artistic expression, they are swimming under water and surfing.

When Sam puts his hands on the many mediums that he carves it’s these submarine images that guide him. He works mostly in wood, stone and bone. He has explored many forms and designs from masks and vessels to statues.

Sam was raised in rural upstate New York, He spent much of his life visting his grand-father, Jack Reilly out on the New Jersey coast. Jack was a painter, carver and jewelry maker and avid surfer. It was there that Sam learned surfing and what it meant to express one’s self through art. Jack was an artist in the true sense, that he never sold a piece and did it his whole life.

Sam’s life in Tofino is very much ruled by the sea. He lives out in Clayoquot sound connected to our world by boat and motor. It’s out there that he finds the time to fulfill his inspirations. Much of his work has been affected by the old myths of Mermaids, Sea Serpents and tales of the deep. It’s these mysteries that really get his creative juices flowing.

His work can be seen at Tofitian Café out beside Live to Surf.


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