Photo by Olivia Kachman  at Carmen Haakstad’s  Dominio II Show Opening  Unique Gallery, Oct 30/08

Right to Left:

Carmen Haakstad, Benita Galandy, (Elder’s Shelter Manager) ” Esquao the Seeker”  and MaryHelen Ferris. ” Esquao the Seeker” was donated to the Elder’s Caring Shelter as a donation for a raffle to raise awareness about the Elder’s Caring Shelter and funds for food and utilies.


Esquao has many meanings. The ancients said “The woman who leads.”

In Cree, it means lady.

The Sioux transcribe it as beautiful woman.

Other dialects, it means mother. Perhaps directing us to Mother Earth.

To Carmen Haakstad it was a tribute to Aborginal Women and their contribution to the community. He reflected it best in his painting Esquao the Seeker. It is his latest in a body of work in the Seeker series.

He tells us of the Seeker in an article which follows:

The Seeker’s Journey – Guest – Author -Carmen Haakstad

October 15, 2008 by greatpoetrymhf | Edit

The Seeker explores, she ponders, she is in constant wonderment. She seeks knowledge. She learns from her mistakes and her loss of loved ones and she sometimes learns from her successes.

The mystery of the journey continues to unfold.  The grain of her soul is becoming exposed.

The mystique of the things that cannot be measured are truly the Seeker’s joy she prays to find.  The sublime intrigues through sight, sound and thought she engages.  Through taste she is refueled and is reminded of the days gone by through scents that recall some joys of childhood. She tries to remain grounded with her feet firmly planted – however, her thoughts are not.

She listens to the stories that radiate through the world by modern devices that can send instant messages to all fellow Seekers. She is mused but not totally convinced of its truth; it is a tapestry – it must be revealed.

The Seeker ponders when it will end – the games of trying to outwit the enemy.  Only the higher Seeker of our universe knows, so she tires to engage the higher source to help her fellow Seekers follow the path of love – not war.

The Seeker cries out, she is stripped to the grain – prepared for the rain and the clouds brood and the storm lurks.  She stands tall, holds onto her faith.  The Seeker knows that soon the light and warmth of the sun will replace the darkness.  The beauty surrounds her.  She ponders, she looks, smells tastes, touches and listens.

The journey is short.  It is later than we think – so she holds on, she prays for hope, her faith keeps her strong as she continues her journey not knowing if it will be short or maybe long.

 Carmen Haakstad 2005

as published in Summer Slam 2005 July 14 – 17, 2005 South Bear Creek Park  Grande Prairie Alberta


Carmen Haakstad – The Seeker


Photo by Lorne Williams 

Esquao The Seeker – Painting by Carmen Haakstad

for his

Domino I I   Show at Unique Gallery              Oct 30 to November 10, 2008

It is an invitation

To see the work of a heart divine

To visit with the artist

To learn of the long hard climb.

One of the rare moments

When one sees a heart sublime.

A young man skated and won the scholarship.

A brave young scholar with an easel on his hip.

The years have passed with his family

His art gives one a peak at eternity.

He is Carmen

The seeker.

Who is leading us home.

His art records the milestones

He he travelled and won.

With the love of his family

Pervading each piece

He teaches our hearts

About perfect peace.

A talented leader in our community

He makes Grande Prairie “the place to be”

I want to thank Carmen Haakstad

For his wonderful work

Having this opportunity gives life a big perk.

I will give thanks to life’s evening sun

For the talent and humility

Of the Peace Country’s young Son.