Edzerza is Alano’s family name, passed down over the last hundred years. The origin of the name comes from Alano’s great-great-grandfather, Asadza. The name itself is ages old, and has been a part of the Tahltan nation from time immemorial. The Tahltan nation is located in the North West corner of British Columbia, and is the largest traditional territory in the province. Tahltan culture reflects a mix of both Athabascan and Coastal traditions. Historically, the Tahltan people are very industrious, sustaining themselves for thousands of years with the rich resources of their tribal territory. In pre-contact times, Tahltan people had an elaborate trading economy based on their position between the coastal trade and the inland tribes. They are very proud of their tradition of commercial enterprise and continue to be extremely active in the modern economy of their traditional territory. They have two clans: Tsesk’iye (Raven clan) and Ch’iyone (Wolf clan). Alano belongs to the Raven clan and feels a deep connection to the Tahltan creation story featuring the Raven.
Alano began sketching at an early age and won a district award in junior high school for clay sculpture. This gave him the confidence and inspiration to increase his artistic skill. At the age of 21, Alano entered the tutelage of family member and fellow artist Terrance Campbell. In 2002, Alano furthered his education by attending school in Arizona for jewelry making under the instruction of Rick Charlie. Alano has moved through many different mediums: pencil sketches, jewelry, acrylics, glass works, grand-scale installations, wood panels and now, performance sportswear. Over the years he has also had the opportunity to work with artists Jay Simeon, Marcel Russ, Philip Grey, Corey Bulpitt, and many others. Alano was also fortunate enough to have a three year apprenticeship with Rick Adkins, whom Alano considers one of the top jewelry designers on the northwest coast.
Alano Edzerza has been featured in 9 major shows. In October of 2007, Alano had his first solo show at Stonington Gallery in Seattle, where he featured new pieces in glass, jewelry, stone, steel and limited edition prints. In August of 2008, Alano celebrated the grand opening of Edzerza Gallery with Black Ice, a study in gray scale art of the Northwest Coast. He has followed up on this success with other shows, including The Gift of the Raven in the summer of 2009, which raised almost three thousand dollars for the Vancouver Foundation in 2010. With the arrival of the Olympics to Vancouver in 2010, many doors of opportunity have opened for Alano. He was commissioned by Vancouver Olympic Committee to create a large scale glass installation at Rogers Arena. ASICS and the Dutch Olympic Team contracted him to help design their uniforms for the 2010 winter games. Since then Alano has been involved in many commissions, including law firms and development projects on traditional native land.
Alano’s latest project is Edzerza Sports, a new line of performance sportswear featuring his take on the art of the northwest coast. Alano continues to grow as an artist and an entrepreneur, expanding his gallery and evolving his artwork.