August 2008. "Storm Approaching," photograph by jude McConkey.
Header image: "Storm Approaching," photograph by jude McConkey

Featured Artist: Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Portrait: Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Scott Quick (Red Bear)

The beautifully crafted work of Brimley artist Scott Quick has been attracting a lot of attention in the Alberta House Shop. On display is a bow and quiver, a tomahawk, a spear, a turtle rattle, a rain shield, a breast plate, a peace pipe, and two walking sticks. Quick spends a good deal of time aging natural materials for an antique look and doing research to make sure each piece is not only authentic in size, materials, and patterns, but is functional. He has honed his craft, building on early lessons from his Ojibwe grandfather, who, as Scott put it, “spent a lot of time showing me the way to construct authentic craft replicas as my contribution to maintaining culture. . . Through the years, and regardless of the economy, I continued crafting to keep my skills alive. . . . I continued what my Grandparents taught me by researching thousands of books for authentic design, sizes, materials, weights, and colors. At one point during promotion of the new Native American Museum at the Smithsonian, they asked to borrow one of my war clubs for display. It was quite an honor to think my work was good enough for such a display.”

Important to Scott Quick is his certificate from the Bay Mills Tribe authorizing his creation of Indian crafts as a “Certified Indian Artisan” under section 309.2 (b) of said Public Law. He points out that so many of the Indian artifacts have gone to Europe to feed the fad for Indian relics there, that American Museums are having a problem finding artifacts for their displays. At the same time, the commercial market here is being flooded with cheap replicas from Asia.

Quick’s professional resumé is far removed from his avocation. He has had extensive training and experience as a paramedic and an emergency medical technician. He enlisted in the Navy as a Medical Corpsman after high school. After he was discharged, he couldn’t decide if he wanted to be a policeman, fireman, or paramedic and over the course of the next 29 years worked as all three. He has a degree in law enforcement and served with the Benton Harbor Police Department from 1990 to 1994 as a patrolman and in drug enforcement and has also served as a volunteer fire fighter. He comments that one good thing that happened as a paramedic was meeting his wife, who had to ride with the paramedics as part of her internship while she was in nursing school. The Quicks have been married ten years.

Quick’s mother was an Ojibwe Indian, originally from the reservation in the Sault, who moved, with her family, to Bay Mills in the late 50’s. She met her husband in the Grand Rapids area when her family was there picking apples. Scott’s father worked for Michigan Bell. The family lived in Bay Mills for a time, but his father was transferred to Grand Rapids in 1967, and Scott spent the next 38 years in St. Joseph. He remained in the Grand Rapids area to lend support to his parents, who were in failing health, but he missed the northland. When they died in 2003, he decided to make the leap and return to the Bay Mills area. As he put it, “after having to be a tough guy as a policeman in the ghetto . . . and remaining there for years as a paramedic, I needed a release.” He took a “more body friendly” position as the assistant director of a municipal ambulance corps and his wife is a nurse at War Memorial. They moved to Brimley and built a cabin in the woods where Scott feeds seven bears, two wolves, eight foxes, ten deer, one mink, six raccoons, and thousands of birds. He had early training as a chef and enjoys gourmet cooking. He works on his crafts. He said the effects of the ghetto are finally fading and he is definitely more relaxed.

Scott’s cabin is set up as a gallery of his work and he invites those interested to tour it by appointment. You can reach him at 906-248-2759 or scottquick@hotmail.com.

Works by Scott Quick (Red Bear)
Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version.

Breastplate by Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Breastplate

Rattle by Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Rattle

Rain shield by Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Rain shield

Bow and quiver by Scott Quick (Red Bear)

Bow and quiver

Last updated: August 1, 2008


Sault Area Arts Council Home Page 217 Ferris Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
e-mail: saac@saultarts.org Phone: (906) 635-1312