Diesing, Freda (1925 - 2002)

Culture/Community

Haida

Biography

Freda Diesing was a member of the Sadsugohllanes Clan. Her Haida heritage was the focus of her art; she was twelve years old when she first attempted to carve. In 1956 her interest in Native art was revived when she saw an exhibition of Native art at the Vancouver Art Gallery called "People of the Potlatch" and later "Arts of the Raven" in 1967; she also met Bill Reid at this time. Freda Diesing was one of the first students enrolled at the Kitanmax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in the late 1960s. Her instructors included Robert Davidson, Tony Hunt, and Bill Holm. She was carving full-timefrom the 1960s to the 1990s and has taught carving classes to Haida, Tsimshian, and Tlingit students in B.C. and Alaska. She also contributed to a number of selected group exhibitions. In the summer of 2002 she received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Northern BC and the Museum of Northern BC. Later that year she died in a car crash near Terrace at the age of 77.