Archie Cavanaugh, Shaa T’aak, was born in Wrangell and raised in Kake. He learned the foundational concepts of formline design, including how to make his own tools, from Mick and Rick Beasley of Juneau. Later he took classes from Steve Brown and Duane Bosch through UAS. Archie’s cousin, Wayne Price, mentored Archie throughout. Archie also worked with metal, paint, and leather. He won first place in the SHI juried art show in 2012. Many of his pieces are on display in the Alaska State Museum.
After Archie’s passing in 2018 his granddaughter Chloey Cavanaugh Was’ineidi Tax’Hit Eagle Wolf Clan used her B.S in Marketing communication to turn Archie’s designs into graphic art so that they could be preserved and shared from generation to generation.
“I started turning my grandfather’s artwork into graphics as a way to grieve and make sure that he was remembered. I would flip through his old sketches, carving templates, and trace over every line and remember the many nights when I would walk into our garage and see him sitting there working hard fine-tuning every piece of his artwork. As I started to preserve his work and turn each design into a graphic art piece I wanted to make sure that more of who he was could be remembered. With each sketch, I took and turned into a graphic that then was sold as a piece of artwork I would take the profits and put it towards something that I knew he was passionate about. Recently my family and I took the profits and donated 10 Trickster Company Basketballs purchased from Kindred Post and donated them to Kake, Alaska’s open gym. Kake was my grandfather’s hometown, where he grew up and his love for Kake and basketball was something that he held onto to his last day on this earth. That is the beauty of this work—that every single time I preserve a design I get to remember him and be a part of giving back to things that were so a part of who he was.”