The Vancouver Canucks have released a great video detailing the controversy and process behind goalie Braden Holtby‘s mask for the season.
Holtby’s initial effort, a project by Swedish mask whiz David Gunnarsson, used impressions of Coast Salish art. After criticism, Holtby and Gunnarsson teamed up with indigenous artist Luke Marston to make the new mask, which is stunning.
From the Canucks and Sportsnet:
“We wanted to do something true to the Coast Salish style and art form,” indigenous artist Luke Martson says in the video.
“The end result is not only a great piece of art,” Holtby says, “but a good lesson for not only us but society in general.”
I’ll add that there is more than one lesson here. Including and supporting the people behind the art we appreciate is one. The other is how to respond after you goof up. Luke Marston taught us the first lesson; Braden Holtby taught us the second. When Holtby and Gunnarsson learned what happened, they vowed to make it right. They didn’t get bogged down by accusations of malice and they didn’t take it personally. They just didn’t know any better at the time, so instead of making some histrionic defense, they just went about the business of owning it and doing better. That’s how you do it.
Marston has shared some more details and close-ups of the mask on his Instagram.
More of Marston’s work can be found on his website, including this beautiful canoe.
Screenshot courtesy of Vancouver Canucks
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