Cree artist Justin Rivard was born in Nanaimo on October 11, 1964. In 1985, Rivard’s father introduced him to native artist Ray Dumont who suggested he start carving. Rivard took him up on the offer, and began researching his ancestral roots, working in art galleries and spending time in the library analyzing different styles.
Through the 1990s, Rivard found a niche as a jewellery known for making unusual pieces from silver, such as lighter cases and business card holders, as well as some of the lesser seen objects such as cuff links, tie bars and money clips. His Spirit Beads have been exceptionally popular, as they fit the ever popular Pandora and Troll bracelets, and can also be worn with pendants, alone, or even on hair wraps.
Rivard’s work is clean, consistent and generally crafted from a thicker gauge of silver than most artists use. Pendants and rings with semi-precious gem stones are marveled at by collectors and other artists alike. Rivard has also applied oxidation to pieces, giving them an antiqued quality, and has created many beautiful overlay pieces.
Rivard works in both silver and gold, and silver & gold combinations. If you would like to custom order a piece, please contact us.
Hummingbird Spirit Bead by Justin Rivard
Exclusive to the Western Hemisphere, Hummingbird is an agile feminine bird known for grace, beauty, love and joy. Hummingbirds can hover in the air without seeming to fly, but have swift movement and are quick to respond to danger. Hummingbirds are affiliated with emotional healing, and are seen as a good omen if one appears during a time of strife or sorrow. Fragile and sensitive to her surroundings, Hummingbirds are a reminder of the delicate nature of life.
Hummingbirds are generally depicted with tiny, fragile bodies, long slender beaks, and either a single or cluster of flowers. Hummingbird is sometimes illustrated with curled appendages similar to that of Thunderbird, though more delicate. That said, it is impossible to mistake Hummingbird for Thunderbird, due to the obvious differences between their beaks.
Cheryl Shearar Understanding Northwest Coast Art (2000)
Conversations with various artists