Northwest Coast art is always changing and evolving. The Indigenous art market of the Pacific Northwest is thriving, which means that there are hundreds of artists creating work and that the pressure to generate innovative pieces is high. First Nations artist Noel Brown has carved out a niche in this art market by applying his designs to steel. The first step that must be completed to produce a steel sculpture is to create an original design. This is usually a pencil drawing which is converted to a vector file once it finalized. After a digital file has been completed, the file is uploaded to a machine which can laser-cut steel to produce a three-dimensional version of the design. After this three-dimensional sculpture is created, the artist paints and hand-finishes the piece. The result of this modern technique is a sleek, minimalist form of Northwest Coast Indigenous art.
Noel Brown is a resident of Nanaimo, which is on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. Noel comes from the Brown/Lewis family; his mother Donna Brown and father Jerry Brown. Noel was taught by many: Richard Baker, Matthew Baker, and Craig Manson. His inspiration is James Christopher Lewis. Noel has been carving since late 1995. Grandfathers on both sides of the family were good carvers. Noel's grandmother is a resident in Cape Mudge, so he has been interested in art all his life. His family has a strong artistic background.