Artists

Andy Peterson

Born in 1955 in Shelton, Washington, Andy Peterson, of Skokomish/Squaxin descent, began carving after being inspired by an exhibit of Northwest Coast art.

As a teenager, Andy helped gather materials with two well-known basket-makers, Louisa Pulsifer and Emily Miller. Through this experience, and inspired by a tour of a museum exhibiting Northwest Coast art, Andy began exploring the art in its various forms.

In 1987 Andy graduated from Evergreen State College with a degree in Native American Studies. While there he worked with Makah artist, Greg Colfax on a 12’ female welcoming figure for the Evergreen State College. This project prompted his interest in researching Coast Salish style design and carving. He also studied Salish art pieces made by his great-grandfather, Henry Allen.

Andy has taught both carving and painting classes over the years to people of all ages through various tribes and local schools.

Andy would like to give special thanks to the following: his mom, dad, grandfather, aunt Bertha, Creator, and Spirit Helpers for always being there for him.

Benjamin Chee Chee

In 1944 on Bear Island, Ontario, Benjamin Chee Chee was born into the Temagami reserve, Chee Chee largely taught himself to draw and paint. His father died when he was two months old and he lost track of his mother. One reason behind his drive for success as a painter was his ambition to be reunited with her.

He was a prominent member of the second generation of Woodland Indian painters, a native art movement that began in the early nineteen-sixties and has since become one of the important art schools in Canada. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he painted in a style influenced by modern abstraction. While most of the young Woodland Indian artists were content to follow the style of the movement’s founder, Norval Morrisseau, in depicting myths and legends by direct and ‘primitive’ narrative means, Chee Chee pursued a more economical graphic style, a reduction of line and image more in keeping with the mainstream of international modern art.

At the age of thirty-two and at the height of a new found success as an artist and printmaker Chee Chee died tragically by committing suicide.

Christian White

Born in the town of Old Masset, on the northern tip of Haida Gwaii, Christian White is a descendant of a long line of influential and talented artists.

Christian started carving at age 14. He learned the intricate and conservative traditional Haida style by studying the living masters in his own home town. Christian soon developed a unique style of his own, incorporating the rigid traditions of Haida carving. His carvings rely deeply on the old myths and legends of his people.

Christian White works in wood and argillite. Argillite (black clay shale) is very rare and located only on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Because of this, Haida artists have the sole privilege of working in argillite. Christian’s focus on the carving of argillite is the best testimony to his people and their unique and exceptional artistic history.

Douglas David

Douglas David was born December 11th 1971 in Seattle, Washington and is the son of world-renowned First Nations artist, Joe David.

Doug was exposed to Northwest Coast art at the age of eight, when his parents would take him on summer vacations to British Columbia and his father would teach him his ancestors” songs, dances and the principles of carving.

Doug”s first pieces were carved in the style of his mother”s Sioux background, but now Doug produces Pacific Northwest styled pieces exclusively influenced by his father, his cousin Art Thompson, and Beau Dick. He began selling his pieces in Seattle but has since travelled to California and Hawaii, even painting Hawaiian drums for Hula schools.

Doug has been producing Northwest Coast pieces since 1995 and now lives in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. He aspires to begin printmaking and carving precious metals. His work is some of the finest available in Seattle WA.

Danny Dennis

A self-taught artist born in Port Essington, B.C., Danny Dennis is one of the rare Northwest Coast artists who produces original paintings. A TSIMSHIAN Native artist of the Frog / Raven Clan, Danny is from the Gitksan Village of Kitwanga, British Columbia, Canada. Danny”s art reflects the beauty of his homeland combining his past with his present-day experience.

Danny”s contribution to the renaissance of Northwest Coast Native art began with international distribution in 1979. His art is exhibited in various museums and galleries in Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia.

This self-taught artist cites master artists Francis Williams and Robert Davidson as inspirational since pursuing his professional artistic career in 1978.

Danny carves indigenous materials from West Coast ivory and mastodon. His design work is enjoyed by collectors of finely-carved gold and silver jewellery.

Unique to Danny”s art are the free-flowing lines capturing the expression of freedom and the infinite possibilities of where a person”s journeys may lead.

Beau Dick

Beau Dick was born in Kingcome Inlet, November 23, 1955. Kwaguilth by birth, Beau has mastered not only the Kwakwaka”wakw style of carving, but also the styles of other Nations and cultures including contemporary art.

Beau is internationally acclaimed both for his personal interpretation of old masterpieces and his own many masterworks, which have been displayed in UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Civilization in Hull, the Vancouver Museum and Stanley Park, where he, with Bill Reid and Werner True, carved one of the eight most photographed totem poles in the world (it’s the tallest one, back row, far right). Increasingly his works display a ‘distressed’ finished, giving them an older look and feel (Beau himself is displaying some of this ‘distressed’ look lately – couldn’t resist, Beau!). Beau is also well represented in galleries and private collections around the world, where his masks, raven rattles, talking sticks, and transformation pieces are eagerly sought.

Beau sings and dances at potlatches, makes many of the ceremonial pieces required, and directs a dance group that has performed throughout British Columbia. His greatest gifts may prove to be the time he devotes to passing his wealth of skills and knowledge to younger artists, almost all of whom cite him as an important influence; many of the best of whom cite him as honoured mentor.

Ben Houstie

Ben Houstie was born November 20, 1960 in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada. This area is representative of the Kwagiulth Nation, a tribe that inhabits the southern region of British Columbia. His uncle is Gordon Gladstone and great-great-grandfather is Daniel Houstie.

Ben specializes in original paintings, limited edition prints, rattles and some jewellry. He uses such mediums as paper, wood, deer hide and silver. Ben has worked with Cheryl Hall, Robert Hall, David Gladstone and Beau Dick. In 1988, Ben apprenticed under Bill Reid, the father of Northwest Coast art of the twentieth century, painting several drums of Bill”s design and twenty paddles for the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. These paddles were to accompany the fiberglass replicas of ‘Lootaas’ the fifty foot Haida canoe carved by Bill Reid in 1986.

Ben sold his first painting in 1977 and produced his first limited edition prints in 1987 for Leona Lattimer Gallery. In May 1987, Ben”s painting was selected for the Icpher Cahper World Conference held at the University of British Columbia. Presently.

Bill Holm

Bill Holm, Professor Emeritus of Art History, and Curator Emeritus of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Burke Museum, is recognized internationally as one of the most knowledgeable experts in the field of Northwest Coast Native art history. Born in Roundup, Montana in 1925, Bill Holm began his lifelong involvement with Native American art and culture playing on the sandstone bluffs in the Musselshell valley. After moving to Seattle as a teenager, his interests broadened to include the cultures of the Northwest Coast. Following Army service in the Second World War, he entered the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor’s degree and Master of Fine Arts degree in painting.

After teaching art in the Seattle Public Schools for fifteen years, Bill published his first book. Northwest Coast Indian Art: an Analysis of Form (now in its thirteenth printing) which led to appointments in the Burke Museum as Curator of Northwest Coast Indian Art and in the Art History Division of the School of Art at the University of Washington. That book, Northwest Coast Indian Art, An Analysis of Form (1965) has sold over 100,000 copies and is one of the all-time best-selling books published by the University of Washington Press. This book is credited with having drawn a remarkable number of artists into their own practice of Northwest Coast art, and his classes at the University of Washington broadened the understanding and appreciation of that art in several generations of students.

The Native American Art Studies Association recognized him with its Honor Award in 1991. The UW honored him with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1994 and selected him to give the annual University Faculty Lecture in 2003. In 2001, he was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska through the Sealaska Heritage Institute. In 2008 he received an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Holm retired in 1985 after 17 years as a curator and professor. For thirty-two years he had focused on teaching, research and field work among Northwest Coast people. Following his retirement he began a series of paintings, mostly in acrylic, of the Native people of the Plains, Plateau, and Northwest Coast – the areas of his professional expertise. He has always been interested in the materials and technology of Northwest Native cultures, making nearly every kind of object, form full size plank houses, canoes, and totem poles to bead and porcupine quill decorated clothing of the Plains and Plateau. He has published eight books and many articles on Native Northwest arts and cultures, and has lectured widely in North America and Europe. He has also served as a consultant on Northwest Coast art for many of the world’s major museums.

The Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle is one of the premiere centers for the study of Native arts of the Northwest and is dedicated to helping all people better understand and connect with Northwest Native art. As part of the Burke Museum’s Culture Department, the center facilitates education about Northwest Native art and, through research grants, public programs, online resources and publications, supports research about and access to the Native art collections at the Burke.

Holm and his wife, Marty live in Seattle, Washington, while their daughter Carla lives in Brussels, Belgium, and their daughter Karen in Seattle.

Albert Joseph

Albert Joseph was born in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. This area is representative of the Coast Salish Nation, a tribe that has inhabited the southern region of British Columbia for thousands of years.

Albert has always been fascinated by the myths and legend and history of his people and seeks to express his passion through his wood carvings. Albert has been carving since early childhood, approximately seventeen years (1995). He lists his brothers and cousins as his teachers and inspiration.

Coming from a well known family of carvers, Albert explains that it was only natural for him to begin to carve. Albert is one of many Northwest Coast Native artists who is keeping his ancestral traditions alive for future generations.

Brad Joseph

Brad Joseph was born in 1959 in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. A member of the Coast Salish Nation, Brad is one of eight brothers who carves cedar wood on a full-time basis. Brad became involved in making native art twenty years ago (1994) with the influence of his older brothers” teachings.

His artwork reflects the traditional motifs and carving style of his people. Presently, Brad continues to carve such items as totem poles, two dimensional plaques and three dimensional sculptures.

Calvin Hunt

As I work within the traditional Northwest Coast Kwagu’l style, I am reminded of the diversity, spirituality, transformation and meaning of our Kwakwaka’wakw culture. The subject, design elements and colors are elements that contribute to my inspiration. I most enjoy working with western red cedar, and am particularly interested in carving totem poles, masks and dance outfits. There are certain elements that represent the unifying symbolism of various animals and legends which I follow through the knowledge and teachings of my Chiefs, Elders and artists.” -Calvin Hunt

Calvin Hunt is the youngest son in a family of eight children. He was born into a wealth of traditions through both his father and mother. His father was a hereditary Chief of the Kwagu’l People of Fort Rupert. His mother, the daughter of a great Nootka Chief and Shaman, Dr. Billy. Since earliest childhood he’s molded a love for his culture; he learned his traditional dances practicing for his parents and grandparents (Chief Mungo Martin and Abaya). His artistic abilities showed promise at an early age through his sketches. He began carving at the age of 12. In 1972 he began carving full time as an apprentice with Tony Hunt (Arts of the Raven Gallery, Victoria, BC.). He remained with the gallery until 1982 at which time he moved to his ancestral home of Fort Rupert. In 1983 he opened his workshop “The Copper Maker”.

In May,1988, he carved and raised the Hunt Pole, with the assistance of his brothers, nephews and cousins, which is hereditarily owned by his oldest brother, George Hunt Sr., The pole stands outside of his father and mother’s home. He also carved a memorial grave figure for his father at the Fort Rupert cemetery. These poles were the first such poles raised in the village in approximately 70 years.

With the resurgence of canoe building in 1993, Calvin and his nephew, Mervyn Child, carved a 32’ Northern Style canoe which represented the Kwagu’l Nation at ‘Quatuwas in Bella Bella. This canoe is named after his mother, “Maxwalaogwa”, and belongs to the Maxwalaogwa Canoe Society, formed by Calvin and his wife, Marie. Calvin has also carved the 32’ Northern Style canoe, “I-Hos”, and 40’ Northern Style canoe “U’gwamalis Gixdan”. He has helped with the carving of a Manka canoe, and a 37’ West Coast Style canoe from Quatsino. In 1995, during a potlatch given by Calvin and his brother, Ross Hunt Sr., he received his Chief’s name, from his wife’s side of the family, “Tlasutiwalis”. In July of 1998, he was seated as the fourth primary Chief of the Mowachaht; the Hereditary Chieftainship, which belonged to his grandfather, Dr. Billy, of Tsuwana (Friendly Cove), his Chief’s name being “Nas soom yees”.

Artist Statement:

Fine art constantly evolves; it allows a lens through which the fluidity and creativity of the art of the Northwest Coast is expressed. I mostly work within the elements of traditional southern Kwakiutl art, and it has taken me years to broaden my artistic creativity. Incorporating more contemporary elements and colours is a challenge I enjoy. My art work crosses the continuum of history and the present. I enjoy sharing our culture with the world, and I feel very fortunate to have the capacity to pass on our Elders’ teachings. Most importantly, it is a way for us to teach our children, our “Gwa’layu”, (our reason for living) by providing a creative, inspiring environment that generates knowledge of their crests, legends, songs and dances, giving them a sound foundation of their identity.”

Delmar Joseph

In 1956, Delmar Joseph was born into the Squamish tribe of the Salish people in Capilano, British Columbia. Delmar began carving when he was only eleven years of age under the expert guidance of his father, Larry Joseph.

Delmar is the brother of famed carver, Floyd Joseph who was instrumental in re-establishing coast Salish carving after its collapse. Delmar”s sureness of line and satin finish is irresistible to admirers of his work.

Doug LaFortune

Doug LaFortune is a member of the Coast Salish Nation, a tribe that inhabits the southern region of British Columbia. As a part of a family of master Northwest Coast Native artists, it was only natural that Doug began to carve at a young age.

Now as a master carver himself, he is particularly well known for his intricately carved Totem Poles and bowls. In 1986, he carved a Centennial Celebration Totem Pole for the City of Duncan on Victoria Island.

Jacob B. Lewis

Jacob Lewis was born into the Squamish tribe of the Coast Salish Nation in 1955. He has been carving since the tender age of seven and became prolific in his 20”s.

Jacob transforms a carving of yellow cedar into a work of complex design where integrated hidden crest figures are sub-plots within the larger work. In a simple Sun, one might see several Ravens, Eagles and perhaps a Bear or whale. Even the eyebrows and cheeks of the figures become secondary creatures themselves.

He”s become internationally renowned for his elaborate original designs, and is best known for his ability to bring traditional and contemporary forms together. Although Jacob adheres to the established rules of Northwest Coast Native art in shape and form, he adds a modern dimension that is completely his own. It is this tension between the old and the new that makes Jacob”s work so compelling and alive.

Jacob”s work has been displayed in exhibitions all over North America and remains a part of prominent private collections throughout the world.

David Louis

In 1969, David Louis was born into the Squamish band of the Coast Salish Nation located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He reveals that it was natural transition to begin carving as a teenager since he”s from a large family who is proven Salish carvers. He lists Darren Louis, Peter Charlie and William Watts as his teachers.

With his strong perception in expressing the natural richness of First Nations” people, Davis continues to expand and develop his talent as a Salish designer.

James H. Michels

Born in 1969, James Michels was raised in Merritt, British Columbia. He”s recognized as an Aboriginal citizen under the criteria established by the Metis National Accord, and is an active member of the Penticton Metis Association.

At the age of twenty, James realized his interest in native art. By travelling extensively throughout northwest Canada, he was able to meet and observe the traditions of many different and varied artists in this region.

With this unique knowledge in hand, James soon became partial to the techniques he had observed over the years. Now residing in Vancouver”s lower mainland, he continues to carve, paint and create in the traditions he knows and loves.

Eddie Lee

Eddie Lee is a local Pacific Northwest artist whose love for nature has given him the special ability to breathe life into his carving. He has been carving over 30 years and his carvings usually start with a visual idea. Every piece created by him is an original. He loves to work with soapstone and alabaster and collect his rough materials from all over the world. He also uses unusual media for his carving, including fossilized walrus, mammoth bone and ivory. In 1983, Eddie established his own gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, becoming widely respected by art lovers and collectors from all around the world.

Bill Reid

One of Canada”s foremost artists, Haida artist Bill Reid, an outstanding gold and silversmith turned sculptor, was proclaimed a National Living Treasure and was instrumental in inspiring a people to reclaim their cultural heritage.

Collected internationally and much-honored, Bill Reid created, among his best known sculptures, The Spirit of Haida Gwaii at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (The Black Canoe, 1991) and at the Vancouver International Airport (The Jade Canoe, 1996).

Building upon the broad range of his expression, Bill Reid translated his original designs of animal crests into limited edition silk screen or woodcut prints.

COPPER – Among the Northwest Coast First Nations, the ultimate symbol of wealth, power and prestige was (and still is) the Copper. a keystone-shaped shield made of beaten copper sheets and decorated with a crest design. They were nore, had names and their symbolic as well as their material values were very high. Its color, like that of the salmon, connotes wealth. Bill Reid 1920-1998

Manual Salazar

Manuel Salazar is a member of the First Nations Cowichan Band affiliation of the Cowichan Valley in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada. At the young age of twenty-three, Manuel discovered a strong desire to distribute fine Salish arts and crafts within a period of two years. Manuel has entered his art pieces into various art shows. To his talent was awarded second place in a province-wide art contest sponsored by Cowichan”s Native Heritage Centre, which took place in the winter of 1991. Also to his talent was awarded second place and an honourable mention in the 1992 annual spring art show and sale, sponsored by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council. Manuel was also awarded special recognition for this contribution. Manuel is presently in the process of designing and painting traditionally hand crafted drums (using acrylics) and producing fine limited-edition prints. He spent the summer of 1993 at the Native Heritage Centre, concentrating on these original designs and drum painting. He has had artistic learning experiences with other well-known artists who have helped to guide his talent. With strong concept of expressing the natural richness of our First Nations people, Manuel will continue to expand and develop his talent as a Salish arts and crafts designer.

Marvin Oliver

Marvin Oliver is of Quinault and Isleta-Pueblo heritage. He draws upon the Northwest Coast half of his heritage for artistic inspiration, combining northern formline design with southern Coast Salish imagery.

Marvin is one of the Northwest’s best known sculptors and printmakers. His prints, masks, helmets and wood panels fuse ancient forms with contemporary aesthetics.

His monumental works in cedar, bronze, cast glass and enameled steel – especially his totem poles and towering, stylized whale fins – has influenced recent new directions in contemporary Northwest Coast art and has established him as one of Seattle’s foremost contributors to civic art. His works have been installed in Washington as well as through out the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Not only is Marvin an excellent artist but an inspiring teacher as well. He holds a part time post at the University of Alaska, Ketchikan, and has also been a professor in the American Indian Studies department at the University of Washington since 1974. He teaches two-dimensional design and woodcarving to students in the University’s Art Department and also serves as an adjunct art history professor. Marvin is Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum.

The Stonington Gallery has represented Quinault/Isleta Pueblo artist Marvin Oliver for approximately twenty years. The art of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians dates back thousands of years. The cultures that developed along the magnificent coastline are ancient, and were highly developed. The art of these tribes are considered among the world’s great art-forms.

Alano Edzerza

Alano, a Tahltan artist belonging to the Raven clan, has been immersed in Northwest Coast Native art from a very young age. At 13, Alano received a sculpture award from the School Board of Victoria. From there, his talent grew into a professional career under the tutelage of his cousin, Terrance Campbell, an accomplished jeweler and carver. In 2002 Alano attended a prominent jewlry-making school in Arizona under the instruction of Rick Charlie.

Consequent to completing this course, he began working wtih northern and southern descent artists, such as Jay Simeon, Marcel Russ, Philip Gray, Cory Bulpitt, Beau Dick, Mark Preston and Dempsey Bob, a leading contributor of knowledge and education to the next generation of artists from the Tahltan Nation. Bob collaborated on various projects with the artists, who in turn greatly inspired him to revisit the pursuit of his own artwork.

Currently, Alano has accomplished jewelry carver Rick Adkins instructing him on refining his designing skills. Alano continues to grow as an artist and to challenge his abilites. This has certainly progressed his artwork to another level among his peers. His pursuit of original paintings has led him to create graphics and works in the contemporary medium of glass.

Gary Baker

Gary Baker was born on December 2nd, 1963 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This area is representative of the Squamish Nation, Coast Salish people who inhabit the southern region of the province. Gary takes the Thunderbird, known to be the most powerful mythical creature, as his family crest. Gary has been carving for fifteen years (1996). He reveals that Richard Baker and Warren Joseph taught him the basics of carving. During his carving career, Gary worked with Peter Charlie and Darren Yelton, two artists well known for there three dimensional carving style. They greatly influenced Gary”s style and form.

Presently, Gary specializes in masks, plaques and totem poles. He is one of many Northwest Coast Native artists who are preserving his heritage through his artwork.

Harold Baker

In 1961, Harold was born in Squamish, British Columbia into the Coast Salish Nation. He takes the Killer Whale and Thunderbird as his family crests, both revered for their size and strength. Harold became involved in making native art eighteen years ago when he was drawn to his family traditions while exploring his heritage. With the influence of Dominic Charlie”s teachings, he began to develop his own distinct style and interpretation of his cultural mythology.</span

Jim Charlie

Jim Charlie was born September 10th, 1967 on the Capilano Reserve in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is a member of the Squamish Nation of the Coast Salish peoples. Squamish territory encompasses much of Greater Vancouver inluding North and West Vancouver, Howe Sound and lands and rivers all the way up to Whistler, BC.

Jim comes from a long line of artists; therefore, it was only natural that he began to carve at a young age. He has been making Northwest Coast Native art for over sixteen years.

Jim is the grandson of Dominique Charlie, who passed on some years ago. He was a highly-regarded carver during his time. He educated Jim on the many stories and legends common to the Salish people and inspired him throughout his years of carving.

Jim studied under Phil Janze, a well established Gitksan artist, in order to become more proficient in achieving greater depth and a different perspective of style.

Jim has been influenced by many well known artists and strives to achieve the utmost quality in his work. He is a versatile artist who enjoys depicting a variety of legends. His style is refined, uncomplicated, and dimensional with a northern influence.

Jim is one of many Northwest Coast Native artists who are working to uphold their cultural traditions through their artwork and craft.

Joseph Campbell

Born in 1948, Joseph was raised on Musqueam land in Vancouver, BC and over the years has raised his own family in Vancouver. His ancestral name is Katxalacha and it was handed down to him from the Paul family of the Squamish Nation situated in North Vancouver.

Joseph took an early interest in carving and had the opportunity to observe his late father, Sylvester, who carved culturally significant ceremonial masks and house posts, using the traditional Coast Salish form line. Joseph’s late brother Danny Campbell gave him his first carving knife and also demonstrated numerous carving techniques and styles, including the structured and complex northern form line, a style which Joseph continues to use in most of his work.

Joseph began carving small scale works, swiftly progressing to larger scale, with objects such as talking sticks, masks and panels. Consequently, Joseph commenced designing and building bentwood boxes under the guidance of his good friend and mentor, master bentwood box carver, Larry Rosso. Since that apprenticeship, Joseph has progressed steadily with his range of expertise and precision in perfecting his design and carving techniques. He continues to create more finely crafted and complex pieces with each completed work. Campbell not only furthers his carving techniques through his practical skills, but also drives himself to improve his knowledge of design, working in contemporary media to advance and broaden his artwork.

Campbell studied Advanced Design with Master Haida artist Robert Davidson, and has worked with instructor George Rammel at Capilano College on the art of bronze casting. As Campbell’s artwork continues to thrive, many collectors has developed a strong affinity for his work; his bentwood boxes can be found in collections across Europe, United States, Canada, Asia, and the South Pacific

Kevin Cranmer

Kwakwaka’wakw artist Kevin Cranmer was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, but has lived all but four years of his life in Victoria. His father is from the ‘Namgis Nation and his mother is from the Mamlilikala Nation, two of the many Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. Cranmer’s work often speaks to his diverse coastal background, as he can trace his ancestry to the many Nations of Kwakwaka’wakw people as well as the Tlingit of Alaska.

His formal instruction came under the tutelage of his cousin, George Hunt Jr. He later worked with artists Tony Hunt Sr., Tony Hunt Jr., and Calvin Hunt. Kevin’s introduction to larger monumental sculpture began when he first started to work alongside renowned Nuu-Chah-Nulth artist, Tim Paul in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Thus, his large-scale works include several large co-operative projects: a 40 foot pole which stands in Stanley Park, Vancouver; a 36 foot pole carved for the closing ceremonies at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand and an elaborately carved and painted Chief’s seat for the newly rebuilt Big House in Alert Bay.

Kevin Cranmer is an active participant in the continuation of his cultural heritage through the arts. He is a respected member of his community and is an intiated Hamatsa member, one of the most sacred of the complex and secret dance socities of the Kwakwaka’wakw. His artistic works not only display unique Kwakwaka’wakw traditions but also preserve those traditions for future generations. Kevin Cranmer continues to create pieces for family and for use in ceremony.

lessLIE

Born in 1973 in Duncan, B.C., lessLIE is Coast Salish of Cowichan, Penelakut, Esquimalt, Irish, Italian, and French descent. His colonized, Catholic, Canadian name is Leslie Robert Sam. His decolonized artist’s name is lessLIE. Hitler once said that the bigger the lie you tell, the more people you can get to beLIEve in it. Hitler was a proponent of racism, genocide, and imperialism, which are political forces which lessLIE is fighting against. Picasso once said that art is a lie that tells the truth. In the spirit of the trickster traditions of the Northwest Coast, lessLIE partially beLIEves in this perspective of Picasso’s. lessLIE has a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, B.C. While working on this undergraduate degree, lessLIE began to study Coast Salish art. He has been studying Coast Salish art since 1995. lessLIE was greatly inspired and encouraged by his cousin Joe Wilson. Later other renowned Coast Salish arts such as Manual Salazar, Maynard Johnny Jr., Shaun Peterson, Luke Marston and John Marston influenced his artistic endeavours. However, his primary inspiration from a very young age has been Coast Salish artist Susan A. Point (to whom he is distantly related to), Robert Davidson and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Currently, lessLIE is a graduate student at the University of Victoria, working on a Master of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on Coast Salish art. His thesis is a critique of the literature and lack of literature on Coast Salish art. As a component of this graduate degree, lessLIE has also worked at Thunderbird Park Carving Studio in Victoria. lessLIE is artistically bound to Coast Salish art traditions and mythology and his artistic style is true to form and design. His artwork can be found locally and internationally where it is being very well received by new and seasoned collectors. EXHIBTIONS:2011 “Coast Salish Masterworks”, Coastal Peoples Gallery

Marcel Russ

Marcel Russ was born March 10, 1973 in Queen Charlotte City, Haida Gwaii. Marcel Russ is from the Raven Clan there. Haida parents after whom he takes his rightful place as a Haida, according to the clan system, raised him. Major influences in his life have been his culture, the lifestyle, and the values of his people. Being raised with the influences of native heritage helped to shape his unique world view, values and beliefs. Artisans who influenced him from an early age were his father Ron Russ, Grandfather and his uncle, Chris Russ. The Russ’s are well known argillite carvers of the Haida Nation, and his ancestors on his grandmother’s side were also renowned carvers.

Marcel began argillite carving at the age of eight and started carving in wood when he was twelve. His argillite and wood carvings have been collected internationally and one of his pieces can be seen at the Museum of Northern British Columbia. In the spring of 1999 he exhibited with his father at the Museum of Man in New York.

Marcel’s art reflects his interest in the complexity of multiple meanings. Raven, the trickster figure especially inspires him – a figure of great power with human weakness writ large. Currently, he explores the movement of transforming identities, the animal and human world, the changing shapes of the Raven, the Human, the Sea Wolf and the Killerwhale.

One of Marcel’s goals is to document on film his carving of a totem pole, from the selection of the tree to the pole raising ceremony. He also looks forward to writing a book about his art, the culture of his peoples and his travels.

Marcel likes to carve intricate designs out of argillite and wood. Marcel’s work often incorporates contemporary ideas into traditional design. Each piece of work that he starts has to be ‘finished’ in his mind before he picks up his tools that will bring it to life. Carving is not a career or hobby for Marcel, it is a dedication to the beauty and strength of his heritage. Through his carving, he hopes to create an awareness and respect for the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest.

Marcel resides in Prince Rupert with his family.

Mark Preston

Mark Preston was born in Dawson City, Yukon. He is of Tlingit and Irish ancestry and currently resides in Vancouver.

He learned about his Tlingit ancestry through his family and school. Initially, he began studying art through studying European masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo but later discovered and studied First Nation masters – Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Henry Vickers.

Mark has studied various mediums and has carved with notable carvers. He began studying silver carving with well known master jeweler carver, Phil Janze [Gitskan Nation] at Hazelton, B.C. and although he considers this to be a life-long dedication, recently he has moved into wood carving.

On returning to the Yukon, he began to work with his mother, Kay-Yee-Yah [Big Country Woman], who is an artist in her own right. This collaboration between Mark and his mother produced a unique and successful line of garments with extraordinarily beautiful appliqués of cloth and/or beading.

Maynard Johnny Jr.

Maynard Johnny Jr. was born on the 4th April, 1973, in Campbell River, located on Vancouver Island off the Coast of British Columbia. He is a descendant of both the Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish Nations and thus has inherited a unique blend of culture and tradition. In addition, his living in Canada and the United States has broadened his scope and influence to that of many native traditions and cultures.

Artistically, although Maynard began drawing at the age of six, it was in his mid-teens that he began to work seriously at developing his natural artistic talent. Due to his various life-experiences his artwork takes influence from many nations, however he blends Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw art forms to result in a unique and contemporary vision of traditional legends and their depictions. During his career, Maynard has won various logo and art competitions. His work can be found in many local and international collections – both private and commercial.

Mervyn Child

Mervyn Child was born in 1955 and currently resides on northern Vancouver Island in Fort Rupert, British Columbia. A member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, Mervyn also has Tlingit and Nuu Chah Nulth heritage. Mervyn is a part of the well-known Hunt family of carvers and studied the art of carving from Calvin and Tom Hunt as well as George Hunt Jr. Mervyn was initiated into the Nunsishalis Society at the memorial potlatch for the late Tom Hunt Sr.

Specializing in wood as his main media, Mervyn creates masks, feast bowls and rattles. On a larger scale he creates totem poles and canoes for the art market as well as for ceremonial and functional purposes. Mervyn keeps his culture alive by participating in ceremonies and passing his knowledge down to the youth, teaching them songs and dances.

Mervyn`s artwork has been exhibited in numerous galleries and is part of the collection of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Norman Jackson

Norman Jackson is of the Tongass Tlingit Nation and was born in Ketchikan, Alaska in 1957. His lineage is from his mother who is of the Tongass Tlingit Hoots Hits Bear House of Southern Alaska. His father is Ka Gwan tan Tlingit of Klukwan, Alaska. Norman studied at the Kitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton and in metal engraving from the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan.

The magnificence reflected in Norman Jackson’s art is not unexpected. He is a recognized master artist in metal engraving by the Alaska State Council on the Arts Master Apprentice Grant and has received numerous honors for his excellence in wood carving.

He has apprenticed with master artist Dempsey Bob and Phil Janze and has been invited to pass on his knowledge by participating in several symposiums on professional carving. Norman’s work is held in major collections and his work was represented in a traveling exhibition called A Treasured Heritage by the Institute of Alaska Native Arts. “The first time I heard of Norman Jackson I was sitting in Phil Janze’s studio. He said that he felt he finally found someone as a young apprentice who could take jewelry forward, and I think Phil is very careful about how he says that. He’s seen a lot of artists come and go. And to see somebody who felt had the dedication to become a major jeweler which Norman is.”

Norman Tait

1941 – 2016

Born in 1941 in Kincolith, BC, Norman Tait was a decedent of the master carver, Oyai. He was educated by elders in Nisga’a oral tradition and ceremony. He attended residential school in Edmonton, then high school in Prince Rupert before becoming a millwright in a pulp mill. After moving to Vancouver in 1971, he began to carve seriously. His reputation was established in 1973 with his first totem pole, carved with his father Josiah and erected to commemorate the incorporation of Port Edward. It was the first Nisga’a pole raised in more than fifty years. He produced numerous totem poles, including one, Big Beaver, for the Field Museum in Chicago, one privately commissioned and donated to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and one for the British Royal family, erected in Bushy Park, London, in 1992.

Norman Tait was named the recipient of the 2012 Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art for his profound impact in his community and First Nations culture. As an internationally acclaimed artist, Norman’s talent continued to flourish in his later works. He is not only a master in large scale but also in miniatures. His dedication to preserving his ancestry in the traditional design style is evident in each piece of artwork. He prided himself on his knowledge of his language and cultural traditions and periodically took on projects with his partner of many years, Lucinda Turner.

Other original works are located in Osaka, Phoenix, Chicago, London, North Vancouver and at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Norman also took part in the carving of a frontal pole for the Native Education Centre in Vancouver, an event documented in Vickie Jensen’s book, Where the People Gather (1992).

Norman’s timing, like many great artists was impeccable. For First Nations people, the early 1970’s fomented with a new energy. Through their landmark court challenge, Nisga’a political leaders were demanding self-government and new rights.

Norman soon realized that Nisga’a carving, dancing and other art would have to be resurrected if they were to survive. He formed strong opinions on how his carvings would interpret traditional Nisga’a themes in new, contemporary ways – driven by the belief that art must grow in order to survive.

Pat Dixon

1938 – 2015

Pat Dixon was born into the Eagle clan on Haida Gwaii in the village of Skidegate, British Columbia, Canada in 1938. These islands are located off the northern coast of the province.

Pat moved to Vancouver in 1966 where he established a working relationship with fellow Haida carver, Pat McGuire. Dixon acknowledged McGuire’s influence but suggested that it should not be overemphasized. He credited the positive affects of Bill Holm’s book Northwest Coast Indian Art on his understanding of flat design.

Pat Dixon worked exclusively in Argillite and, over the years, produced many model poles, pendants and broaches for avid Argillite collectors. His attention to detail and dimension was unlike any other.  His art is celebrated and found in numerous public and private collections around the world.

Patrick Amos

May 21st, 1957 Patrick Amos was born in Yuquot or Friendly Cove, British Columbia, Canada. Yuquot is a small village located on Nootka Island situated along the west coast of Vancouver Island and is extremely important to the Mowachaht and Muchalaht peoples. Amos is a member of the Mowachaht First Nation and is very active within his community. 

In 1976 Patrick began working for the Provincial Museum in Victoria in the linguistics department where he began illustrating. His illustrations were so well received by the Museum that he collaborated with the Museum to produce limited edition prints. This developed a strong interest to pursue other media such as wood. In 1979 he apprenticed under Tony Hunt Sr., an established and highly respected Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw artist, and was taught the basic techniques of carving. A few years later, he was hired by the Royal BC Museum in Victoria to assist in carving a totem pole with Tim Paul, his stepfather and mentor.

Patrick is a versatile and experienced artist whose contemporary pieces carry the traditional Nuu-chah-nulth distinction while maintaining simplicity. He illustrates limited edition prints, carves masks, rattles, bowls and totem poles and thus he is highly respected and sought after artist.

Peter Charlie

Peter Charlie was born July 12th, 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is a member of the Squamish Nation whose traditional territory encompasses much of Great Vanouver, including North and West Vancouver, Howe Sound and many lands and rivers all the way up to Whistler, BC.

Peter takes the killerwhale, thunderbird, grizzly bear and the sea lion, all important crests of the Salish people, as his family crest symbols.

Peter has been making Northwest Coast Native art for thirty-eight years (2006). He studied under such prominent West Coast artists as Floyd Joseph, Dwayne Simeone and Randy Stiglitz. All of these artists excel in intricacy, quality and tradition brought to a contemporary form. With such influence under his belt, it is clearly evident that Peter was a dedicated student, bringing all the elements that he learned to his artwork.

Peter is a versatile artist. He utilizes red and yellow cedar wood to make three dimensional plaques, totem poles, sculptures, masks and rattles. His style is distinctive and he commonly uses traditional form and colour in all his work. He is one of the many Northwest Coast Native artists who are working hard to preserve their heritage through their artwork. 

Alfred Scow


Alfred Scow was born December 11th, 1966 in Alert Bay, British Columbia which is located off the northern coast of Vancouver Island. He takes the Kolus, the younger brother of the Thunderbird, as his main family crest symbol.

Alfred is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation who are known for their bold coloured and strong featured masks that were used ceremonially. This traditional style is exemplary of Alfred’s artwork. It maintains the traditional form and use of colour.

Alfred has only been carving for a short number of years, yet his pieces portray a more advanced ability. One reason is that he comes from a long line of carvers; both brothers and cousins who have educated him on the more advanced and refined methods of carving. Some of his teachers include Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, Joe Peters Jr. and, his brother, Barry Scow. The medium that he enjoys working with is red and yellow cedar, as well as alder wood.

In 1997 Alfred helped carve a 3 foot long killerwhale feast dish that was used at a potlach in Alert Bay. This provided him with the experience of working on a large scale piece.

Alfred is well on his way to reaching the carving level of his teachers and mentors. It is his intention to uphold a refined quality to his artwork and to preserve the tradition of carving for future generations.

Jim Charlie

Jim Charlie was born September 10th, 1967 on the Capilano Reserve in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is a member of the Squamish Nation of the Coast Salish peoples. Squamish territory encompasses much of Greater Vancouver inluding North and West Vancouver, Howe Sound and lands and rivers all the way up to Whistler, BC.

Jim comes from a long line of artists; therefore, it was only natural that he began to carve at a young age. He has been making Northwest Coast Native art for over sixteen years.

Jim is the grandson of Dominique Charlie, who passed on some years ago. He was a highly-regarded carver during his time. He educated Jim on the many stories and legends common to the Salish people and inspired him throughout his years of carving.

Jim studied under Phil Janze, a well established Gitksan artist, in order to become more proficient in achieving greater depth and a different perspective of style.

Jim has been influenced by many well known artists and strives to achieve the utmost quality in his work. He is a versatile artist who enjoys depicting a variety of legends. His style is refined, uncomplicated, and dimensional with a northern influence.

Jim is one of many Northwest Coast Native artists who are working to uphold their cultural traditions through their artwork and craft.

Joe David

Joe David was born in the small Clayoquot village of Opitsat on the west coast of Vancouver Island, considered the territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. Although much of his childhood was spent in Seattle, he maintained a positive connection with his cultural heritage through his late father, Hyacinth David.

In the late 1960s, after attending art school and working as a commercial artist, David turned his attention to First Nation’s art. Following this personal decision, he met Duane Pasco, a recognized student and teacher of Northwest Coast art, and Bill Holm, the well-known Northwest Coast scholar. David began attending Holm’s classes at the University of Washington, and between 1971 and 1973 was apprenticed to Pasco. Both Pasco and Holm stimulated David to explore the style of a number of Northwest Coast traditions.

This varied background of experience has allowed David to independently, and in concert with his cousin, Ron Hamilton, rediscover and redefine not only his own Nuu-chah-nulth tradition of sculpture and design, but to also understand other variations in form distinct to other regions along British Columbia’s coastline.

Today, Joe is not only an accredited master carver, but he has been in pursuit of lecturing within North America and abroad. His artwork can be found in many private and public collections worldwide.

Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson was born in 1967 and raised at Koksilah near Duncan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Joe’s keen interest in Native Art began at the tender age of 12 whilst watching his stepfather, Johnny Sampson, designing and carving beautiful works. However, fierce competition with his younger brother, Rick, spurred his need to take on his artistry seriously- “that’s when I frustratingly started really applying myself. Even back then I had it in my heart to be one of the best out there in our field [Coast Salish Territory] and I did it.”

At the young age of 17, Joe began producing and marketing his various carvings within the local region. He has apprenticed under master carvers such as the late Simon Charlie and Coast Salish artist Charles Elliott. Furthermore, he has studied under Nuu-Chah-nulth master carver Tim Paul at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Joe has studied Coast Salish Art extensively and has emerged as one of the most prolific Coast Salish artists today. His influences include acclaimed artists Simon Charlie and Tim Paul.

A soft-spoken man, his work speaks of confidence and strength and he has developed a unique and original style. His colours are bold and unconventional, yet extremely appealing and rich.

He has always felt that the Coast Salish art form continues in its tradition to be inspiring within form and its unique flair. Joe’s artwork is not only traditionally authentic, it’s also an artistic communication link between cultures.

Joe Wilson will continue to push the boundaries of Coast Salish Art while creating works that distinguish and preserve his culture for current and future generations. His talent will continue to bring him the recognition that is reserved for outstanding artists.

Kevin Daniel Cranmer

Kwakwaka’wakw artist Kevin Cranmer was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, but has lived all but four years of his life in Victoria. His father is from the ‘Namgis Nation and his mother is from the Mamlilikala Nation, two of the many Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. Cranmer’s work often speaks to his diverse coastal background, as he can trace his ancestry to the many Nations of Kwakwaka’wakw people as well as the Tlingit of Alaska.

His formal instruction came under the tutelage of his cousin, George Hunt Jr. He later worked with artists Tony Hunt Sr., Tony Hunt Jr., and Calvin Hunt. Kevin’s introduction to larger monumental sculpture began when he first started to work alongside renowned Nuu-Chah-Nulth artist, Tim Paul in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Thus, his large-scale works include several large co-operative projects: a 40 foot pole which stands in Stanley Park, Vancouver; a 36 foot pole carved for the closing ceremonies at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand and an elaborately carved and painted Chief’s seat for the newly rebuilt Big House in Alert Bay.

Kevin Cranmer is an active participant in the continuation of his cultural heritage through the arts. He is a respected member of his community and is an intiated Hamatsa member, one of the most sacred of the complex and secret dance socities of the Kwakwaka’wakw. His artistic works not only display unique Kwakwaka’wakw traditions but also preserve those traditions for future generations. Kevin Cranmer continues to create pieces for family and for use in ceremony.

lessLIE

Born in 1973 in Duncan, B.C., lessLIE is Coast Salish of Cowichan, Penelakut, Esquimalt, Irish, Italian, and French descent. His colonized, Catholic, Canadian name is Leslie Robert Sam. His decolonized artist’s name is lessLIE. Hitler once said that the bigger the lie you tell, the more people you can get to beLIEve in it. Hitler was a proponent of racism, genocide, and imperialism, which are political forces which lessLIE is fighting against. Picasso once said that art is a lie that tells the truth. In the spirit of the trickster traditions of the Northwest Coast, lessLIE partially beLIEves in this perspective of Picasso’s. lessLIE has a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo, B.C. While working on this undergraduate degree, lessLIE began to study Coast Salish art. He has been studying Coast Salish art since 1995. lessLIE was greatly inspired and encouraged by his cousin Joe Wilson. Later other renowned Coast Salish arts such as Manual Salazar, Maynard Johnny Jr., Shaun Peterson, Luke Marston and John Marston influenced his artistic endeavours. However, his primary inspiration from a very young age has been Coast Salish artist Susan A. Point (to whom he is distantly related to), Robert Davidson and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Currently, lessLIE is a graduate student at the University of Victoria, working on a Master of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on Coast Salish art. His thesis is a critique of the literature and lack of literature on Coast Salish art. As a component of this graduate degree, lessLIE has also worked at Thunderbird Park Carving Studio in Victoria. lessLIE is artistically bound to Coast Salish art traditions and mythology and his artistic style is true to form and design. His artwork can be found locally and internationally where it is being very well received by new and seasoned collectors. EXHIBTIONS:2011 “Coast Salish Masterworks”, Coastal Peoples Gallery

Marcel Russ

Marcel Russ was born March 10, 1973 in Queen Charlotte City, Haida Gwaii. Marcel Russ is from the Raven Clan there. Haida parents after whom he takes his rightful place as a Haida, according to the clan system, raised him. Major influences in his life have been his culture, the lifestyle, and the values of his people. Being raised with the influences of native heritage helped to shape his unique world view, values and beliefs. Artisans who influenced him from an early age were his father Ron Russ, Grandfather and his uncle, Chris Russ. The Russ’s are well known argillite carvers of the Haida Nation, and his ancestors on his grandmother’s side were also renowned carvers.

Marcel began argillite carving at the age of eight and started carving in wood when he was twelve. His argillite and wood carvings have been collected internationally and one of his pieces can be seen at the Museum of Northern British Columbia. In the spring of 1999 he exhibited with his father at the Museum of Man in New York.

Marcel’s art reflects his interest in the complexity of multiple meanings. Raven, the trickster figure especially inspires him – a figure of great power with human weakness writ large. Currently, he explores the movement of transforming identities, the animal and human world, the changing shapes of the Raven, the Human, the Sea Wolf and the Killerwhale.

One of Marcel’s goals is to document on film his carving of a totem pole, from the selection of the tree to the pole raising ceremony. He also looks forward to writing a book about his art, the culture of his peoples and his travels.

Marcel likes to carve intricate designs out of argillite and wood. Marcel’s work often incorporates contemporary ideas into traditional design. Each piece of work that he starts has to be ‘finished’ in his mind before he picks up his tools that will bring it to life. Carving is not a career or hobby for Marcel, it is a dedication to the beauty and strength of his heritage. Through his carving, he hopes to create an awareness and respect for the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest.

Marcel resides in Prince Rupert with his family.

Mark Preston

Mark Preston was born in Dawson City, Yukon. He is of Tlingit and Irish ancestry and currently resides in Vancouver.

He learned about his Tlingit ancestry through his family and school. Initially, he began studying art through studying European masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo but later discovered and studied First Nation masters – Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Henry Vickers.

Mark has studied various mediums and has carved with notable carvers. He began studying silver carving with well known master jeweler carver, Phil Janze [Gitskan Nation] at Hazelton, B.C. and although he considers this to be a life-long dedication, recently he has moved into wood carving.

On returning to the Yukon, he began to work with his mother, Kay-Yee-Yah [Big Country Woman], who is an artist in her own right. This collaboration between Mark and his mother produced a unique and successful line of garments with extraordinarily beautiful appliqués of cloth and/or beading.

Maynard Johnny Jr.

Maynard Johnny Jr. was born on the 4th April, 1973, in Campbell River, located on Vancouver Island off the Coast of British Columbia. He is a descendant of both the Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish Nations and thus has inherited a unique blend of culture and tradition. In addition, his living in Canada and the United States has broadened his scope and influence to that of many native traditions and cultures.

Artistically, although Maynard began drawing at the age of six, it was in his mid-teens that he began to work seriously at developing his natural artistic talent. Due to his various life-experiences his artwork takes influence from many nations, however he blends Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw art forms to result in a unique and contemporary vision of traditional legends and their depictions. During his career, Maynard has won various logo and art competitions. His work can be found in many local and international collections – both private and commercial.

Mervyn Child

Mervyn Child was born in 1955 and currently resides on northern Vancouver Island in Fort Rupert, British Columbia. A member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, Mervyn also has Tlingit and Nuu Chah Nulth heritage. Mervyn is a part of the well-known Hunt family of carvers and studied the art of carving from Calvin and Tom Hunt as well as George Hunt Jr. Mervyn was initiated into the Nunsishalis Society at the memorial potlatch for the late Tom Hunt Sr.

Specializing in wood as his main media, Mervyn creates masks, feast bowls and rattles. On a larger scale he creates totem poles and canoes for the art market as well as for ceremonial and functional purposes. Mervyn keeps his culture alive by participating in ceremonies and passing his knowledge down to the youth, teaching them songs and dances.

Mervyn`s artwork has been exhibited in numerous galleries and is part of the collection of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Norman Jackson

Noman Jackson is of the Tongass Tlingit Nation and was born in Ketchikan, Alaska in 1957. His lineage is from his mother who is of the Tongass Tlingit Hoots Hits Bear House of Southern Alaska. His father is Ka Gwan tan Tlingit of Klukwan, Alaska. Norman studied at the Kitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton and in metal engraving from the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan.

The magnificence reflected in Norman Jackson’s art is not unexpected. He is a recognized master artist in metal engraving by the Alaska State Council on the Arts Master Apprentice Grant and has received numerous honors for his excellence in wood carving.

He has apprenticed with master artist Dempsey Bob and Phil Janze and has been invited to pass on his knowledge by participating in several symposiums on professional carving. Norman’s work is held in major collections and his work was represented in a traveling exhibition called A Treasured Heritage by the Institute of Alaska Native Arts. “The first time I heard of Norman Jackson I was sitting in Phil Janze’s studio. He said that he felt he finally found someone as a young apprentice who could take jewelry forward, and I think Phil is very careful about how he says that. He’s seen a lot of artists come and go. And to see somebody who felt had the dedication to become a major jeweler which Norman is.”

Norman Tait

1941 – 2016

Born in 1941 in Kincolith, BC, Norman Tait was a decedent of the master carver, Oyai. He was educated by elders in Nisga’a oral tradition and ceremony. He attended residential school in Edmonton, then high school in Prince Rupert before becoming a millwright in a pulp mill. After moving to Vancouver in 1971, he began to carve seriously. His reputation was established in 1973 with his first totem pole, carved with his father Josiah and erected to commemorate the incorporation of Port Edward. It was the first Nisga’a pole raised in more than fifty years. He produced numerous totem poles, including one, Big Beaver, for the Field Museum in Chicago, one privately commissioned and donated to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and one for the British Royal family, erected in Bushy Park, London, in 1992.

Norman Tait was named the recipient of the 2012 Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art for his profound impact in his community and First Nations culture. As an internationally acclaimed artist, Norman’s talent continued to flourish in his later works. He is not only a master in large scale but also in miniatures. His dedication to preserving his ancestry in the traditional design style is evident in each piece of artwork. He prided himself on his knowledge of his language and cultural traditions and periodically took on projects with his partner of many years, Lucinda Turner.

Other original works are located in Osaka, Phoenix, Chicago, London, North Vancouver and at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Norman also took part in the carving of a frontal pole for the Native Education Centre in Vancouver, an event documented in Vickie Jensen’s book, Where the People Gather (1992).

Norman’s timing, like many great artists was impeccable. For First Nations people, the early 1970’s fomented with a new energy. Through their landmark court challenge, Nisga’a political leaders were demanding self-government and new rights.

Norman soon realized that Nisga’a carving, dancing and other art would have to be resurrected if they were to survive. He formed strong opinions on how his carvings would interpret traditional Nisga’a themes in new, contemporary ways – driven by the belief that art must grow in order to survive.

Pat Dixon

1938 – 2015

Pat Dixon was born into the Eagle clan on Haida Gwaii in the village of Skidegate, British Columbia, Canada in 1938. These islands are located off the northern coast of the province.

Pat moved to Vancouver in 1966 where he established a working relationship with fellow Haida carver, Pat McGuire. Dixon acknowledged McGuire’s influence but suggested that it should not be overemphasized. He credited the positive affects of Bill Holm’s book Northwest Coast Indian Art on his understanding of flat design.

Pat Dixon worked exclusively in Argillite and, over the years, produced many model poles, pendants and broaches for avid Argillite collectors. His attention to detail and dimension was unlike any other.  His art is celebrated and found in numerous public and private collections around the world.

Patrick Amos

May 21st, 1957 Patrick Amos was born in Yuquot or Friendly Cove, British Columbia, Canada. Yuquot is a small village located on Nootka Island situated along the west coast of Vancouver Island and is extremely important to the Mowachaht and Muchalaht peoples. Amos is a member of the Mowachaht First Nation and is very active within his community. 

In 1976 Patrick began working for the Provincial Museum in Victoria in the linguistics department where he began illustrating. His illustrations were so well received by the Museum that he collaborated with the Museum to produce limited edition prints. This developed a strong interest to pursue other media such as wood. In 1979 he apprenticed under Tony Hunt Sr., an established and highly respected Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw artist, and was taught the basic techniques of carving. A few years later, he was hired by the Royal BC Museum in Victoria to assist in carving a totem pole with Tim Paul, his stepfather and mentor.

Patrick is a versatile and experienced artist whose contemporary pieces carry the traditional Nuu-chah-nulth distinction while maintaining simplicity. He illustrates limited edition prints, carves masks, rattles, bowls and totem poles and thus he is highly respected and sought after artist.

Peter Charlie

Peter Charlie was born July 12th, 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is a member of the Squamish Nation whose traditional territory encompasses much of Great Vanouver, including North and West Vancouver, Howe Sound and many lands and rivers all the way up to Whistler, BC.

Peter takes the killerwhale, thunderbird, grizzly bear and the sea lion, all important crests of the Salish people, as his family crest symbols.

Peter has been making Northwest Coast Native art for thirty-eight years (2006). He studied under such prominent West Coast artists as Floyd Joseph, Dwayne Simeone and Randy Stiglitz. All of these artists excel in intricacy, quality and tradition brought to a contemporary form. With such influence under his belt, it is clearly evident that Peter was a dedicated student, bringing all the elements that he learned to his artwork.

Peter is a versatile artist. He utilizes red and yellow cedar wood to make three dimensional plaques, totem poles, sculptures, masks and rattles. His style is distinctive and he commonly uses traditional form and colour in all his work. He is one of the many Northwest Coast Native artists who are working hard to preserve their heritage through their artwork. 

Rande Cook

Rande was born May 26th, 1977 in Alert Bay, British Columbia, a small fishing village situated along the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island. He is a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation whose traditional territory encompasses the areas of Alert Bay, Port McNeil, Beaver Cove and the mountains, lakes and lands along the Nimpkish River.

He takes the Sun, Kolus and the Sisiutl as his predominant family crest symbols. Rande inherited his grandfather’s name Makwala (Moon) along with his chieftainship in 2008. He regularly attends and hosts potlatches and is highly respected in his community. 

Rande is well-versed in wood carving and painting and he has recently embarked further into carving and designing jewelry. He predominantly taught himself, but has been greatly influenced by his cousin, Patrick Seaweed’s, work. Recently he has trained under Yotkov in Italy and New York, expanding his skills as a jewelry artist. He maintains the traditional style and form of his heritage and enjoys creating unique pieces that contain depth and a cut out form.

Rande is extremely knowledgeable about his culture and has become a well-known and revered artist both locally and internationally. His experience and attention to detail makes his work truly unique and respected amongst collectors and art lovers the world over. 

Mark Henderson

Born in 1953, Mark Henderson is from the Wei-wai-kum Band of the Kwakwaka’wakw people in Campbell River, British Columbia.

Mark is deeply involved in the arts and culture of his community. At the young age of eleven, he was taught by his father Sam Henderson who was originally from Blunden Harbour.

In the summer, Mark works as a commercial fisherman off the west coast of Vancouver Island, and in the winter he paints.

He has a unique style related to the old art of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, most noticeably seen in the carvings of Mungo Martin, Henry Speck, Willie Seaweed, and in numerous carvings in and around Alert Bay, British Columbia.

Morris (Moy) Sutherland

Morris (Moy) Sutherland is from Ahousaht First Nations, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Moy carries two traditional names:  Hiish-Miik, which translates as “someone who gets whatever they are after” and Chiotun from the Coast Salish village of Sliammon, which translates as “someone who helps.” Born on January 4, 1974, Moy grew up immersed in his culture and its traditions.  

Moy has submerged himself in his artist career for 20 years. In 1994, Moy began his artistic career in Alert Bay, BC, learning the principals of carving. Upon mastering basic techniques, Moy moved home to his traditional territory to learn more about Nuu-chah-nulth art forms thus broadening his horizons to include the Nuu-chah-nulth style. Even at the beginning of his artistic career, Moy demonstrated intelligence and meticulousness as an artist.

In 2000, Moy’s artistic development became further focused when he began an apprenticeship with world-renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Arthur Thompson.  Arthur mentored Moy until Arthur’s death in March of 2003. While working with Arthur, Moy furthered his understanding of Nuu-chah-nulth design structure and refined his skills. Through assisting with, and later working on projects together, Arthur also shared his vast knowledge of totem pole carving, traditional bentwood box construction, and articulated mask structure and assembly.  More importantly Moy also learned the cultural significance of form structure, design and carving methods from Arthur. The influence and lessons of his mentor and friend are a large influence on Moy’s present day art.  

Moy has the benefit of having learned his craft from both Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth artists. He has used the experience to broaden his understanding of all Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations’ art forms.  Although he is very mindful of staying within the traditional rules and values of his culture, he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists.  He enjoys exploring different media and he is refining his own unique style, both with modern and traditional techniques. For Moy, his art is very deeply rooted in his culture.  He finds it both spiritually rewarding and educational.

Moy comes from a very traditionally rooted family, where the Nuu-chah-nulth culture is a large part of everyday life.  Until his tenure with Arthur Thompson, he was pursuing a degree in anthropology, focusing on the traditional aspects of First Nations’ culture.  For Moy art and anthropology are natural interests and connect to each other; he believes both meet on a journey into the history of his people; a journey that, for him, is a path of understanding and appreciating the connection between the natural world and his culture, and the expression of it in artistic form.

Moy’s work can be found in galleries, museums, magazines & books, and private collections throughout the world.

Artist’s Quote
“For me, the meaning of life is to learn of and understand my cultural surroundings, so that this knowledge can be preserved and used in everyday life. Like our elders before us passed this knowledge on, so must we to our descendants. In this manner, respect becomes an integral part of life, respect for everything.  I draw my knowledge and inspiration from the teachings of those whom I respect, and I incorporate these into everything I do.”

Randy Stglitz

In 1956, Randy Stglitz was born on the Capilano Reservation, North Vancouver, British Columbia.

 At a young age, Randy began to carve in the early 1970s during a period of cultural resurgence of Northwest coast art.  Although Coast Salish, he was taught the Kwakwaka’wakw style which was considered the most marketable at the time and offered new artists an immediate career as it was in demand by many collectors.

 There was a delay for Coast Salish style to enter the market due to privacy issues and the personal significance of their cultural objects, which had long been protected from outsiders.

When Randy eventually moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island for four years, he spent time studying at the Hunt family studio with John Livingston and Gene Brabant – two acclaimed and significant Kwakwaka’wakw artists who delved deeply into the historic aspects of their art form and translated their studies into contemporary art works.

Since moving to Vancouver to begin his career on a full-time basis, he retains the influences of the Kwakwaka’wakw style in his work.

 His artwork is a part of the permanent display in the Bill Gates Microsoft Collection.  In addition to having published works, he has been included in the private collections of Hollywood actors.

Richard Baker

Richard Baker was born in Vancouver, on the Capilano Reservation (Xwemelch’stn) in British Columbia, Canada. The Squamish Nation is one of the many First Nations that make up the Coast Salish Peoples.

Richard is a self-taught carver who uses red and yellow cedar wood as his medium. He is a versatile artist who makes such items as ceremonial masks, plaques, sculptures and totem poles.

Richard has much knowledge of his family stories and legends. Therefore, he depicts these motifs in his artwork.Richard extended his family tradition by creating innovative works that speak to his cultural history and practices. 

Richard is one of many Northwest Coast native artists preserving the heritage of his people for younger generations through his artwork.

Richard Shorty

Richard Shorty was born September 9th, 1959 in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada located north of British Columbia. He is a member of the Northern Tutchone Nation, a group that inhabits the western tip of the Territory. Richard takes the Raven, an important family crest symbol, as his own.

Richard moved to Vancouver in 1981 and became very involved in the Northwest Coast culture which inspired him to begin painting in the Northwest Coast Native style, specifically Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwagiulth). He was greatly influenced by such artist’s work as Roy Henry Vickers and Bill Reid. Richard enjoys painting on canvas and making limited edition serigraphs.

In early 1997, Richard took up the art of carving cedar wood. Finding it a challenge, he enjoys the medium. Since he is a natural artisan, it will not take him long to refine his skills.

Ron Russ

Ron was born in Masset, BC, in 1953, where his father is the hereditary chief. His mother is a descendant of the Nisga’a people. For as long as he can remember, he has been interested in Haida art, at first drawing pictures to illustrate the stories told to him by his grandparents. Ron’s grandfather taught him how to sharpen his tools when he was a young boy and from there he went on to help him carve boats and so on.

He studied all the books he could get his hands on and studied with other young men from the village. They would get together and talk about Haida art and culture, they would draw, talk and draw some more, and so it went. At the time, they thought they were all self-taught, but Ron sees now that they took turns teaching each other.

Ron carves mostly in Argillite, the magic rock, but likes wood and metal as well. However, slate is his favourite medium. Ron’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, the UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Prince Rupert Museum.

Rupert Scow

Rupert Scow was born in 1957 in the village of Alert Bay, British Columbia, an area located near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, known for its long-standing tradition of producing and nurturing powerful carvers. Rupert’s brother, Barry Scow, is also an accomplished carver.  His grandfather was a Chief and as a result of this, Rupert Scow grew up with a strong sense of his cultural heritage. Interestingly, his uncle was the first British Columbia Supreme Court Judge of Native origin.  Rupert’s family crests include the Sisiutl, or double-headed sea serpent, and the bear.

Rupert began to carve in his twenties under fellow Kwakwaka’wakw artists, Wayne Alfred, Vince Shaughnessy and Steven Bruce.  He continues to skillfully carve masks that tell the stories of his cultural heritage.

Known for his work in wood, stone, precious metals and on canvas, Sean Whonnock was born and still lives in Alert Bay, BC on Northern Vancouver Island.

By the age of nine he had been introduced to the Northwest Coast Native Art form and at twelve, Sean was selected to enter a carving program led by George Hunt Jr.  His art work has been influenced by other renowned carvers like Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, Richard Hunt, Tony Hunt and Calvin Hunt.  Sean is also continually inspired by Mungo Martin, Willi Seaweed and Charlie James – groundbreaking artists who helped popularize Kwakwaka’wakw art.

Sean Whonnocks

Sean has consistently produced carvings and paintings since 1990 and is constantly updating his own unique style.  His passion is fueled by the Kwakwaka’wakw culture and his work has become valued by collectors, galleries and museums.  Sean and his cousin Jonathan Henderson carved and raised a symbolic pole in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria in 1999.  The pole is offered as symbolic gratitude to the Coast Salish people for sharing their land with the Kwakwaka’wakw of Northern Vancouver Island.

Sean actively honors his culture by attending Potlatches and has been initiated into the Great Grizzly Bear Society.  The Whonnocks feel it is very important to keep family names and privileges alive and well and Sean continues to give back to his people and family by carving and donating specialized masks and other pieces for ceremonial purposes.  He has become best known for his ornate Chief’s rattles, pieces that have become widely collected and used in traditional ceremonies.

Shawn Edenshaw

Shawn Edenshaw was born in 1982 in Vancouver to Jim Edenshaw and Janet Tait. His heritage comes from both Haida and Gitxsan, though he has taken a larger interest in learning about the Haida lifestyle.

Shawn started to carve at the age of 12. This is also when he began to take interest in the traditional songs and dances of the Haida Nation. He only carves jewelry. He started to carve on copper where he learned how to cut, shape and engrave. Once he was comfortable with how to develop a piece, he moved onto silver and then gold. Shawn’s earliest influence was his father, Jim, who is known for his one of a kind jewelry pieces as well as his design’s for button blankets. Other influences include his father’s friends like Wayne Carlick, Gary Wilson, Garner Moody, Nelson Cross, Bill Reid, and most recently Jim McGuire.

Shortly after he started carving, Shawn was introduced to Robert Davidson, and with him The Rainbow Creek Dance Group. Robert helped to expand Shawn’s learning into the song’s and dances and protocols that are used when performing the songs. The dance group gave Shawn an amazing opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, while sharing his traditions with them. It was these experiences that led Shawn to the decision to continue dancing, singing and carving using the Haida heritage and traditions.

Shawn is still carving jewelry but has taken an interest in producing works in different mediums, such as glass, wood, brass, steel as well as expanding his knowledge in copper, silver and gold. We can expect to see his style develop as he learns to manipulate these different mediums.

Troy Bellerose

Born in 1970 in Picture Bute, Alberta, Troy Bellerose is a member of the Cree nation. After moving to British Columbia, Troy became intrigued with the traditional art of the northwest coast and studied carving under Nisga”a artist Andrew Morrison. Using the local red and yellow cedar, Troy creates beautiful wall panels and paddles in the west coast style. Although Troy has worked primarily in wood, he looks forward to learning to work in a greater variety of mediums. Troy”s work in private collections around the world.

The paddle that Troy carved has both the Wolf design and the Raven design. These are two of the most popular and respected animal crests in northwest coast art.

The Wolf is revered for its hunting skill and ability. Through this hunting ability the Wolf is known as the protector of the animal kingdom. It is also known for its strong family kinship. They mate for life and travel with their families in a pack and are a very social animal. The Wolf is also the land manifestation of the Killer Whale as they are both fierce protectors of their young, choosing to never leave their families.

The Raven is the transformer, trickster and creator. Known in legends as the one who released the Sun, Moon, and stars, discovered man is a clamshell, brought Salmon and water, and finally taught man how to fish and hunt. The Raven is famous for being somewhat mischievous and always does things to better himself, which in the end better mankind.

Stan Greene

People’s eyes are opening up now and they’re interested in Salish art,” points out Stan Greene, who is a major force in Salish art today. He works in watercolours, cedar wood and silk-screen prints.

In 1978, at the age of twenty-five, Stan produced his first Salish prints, inspired by carved Spindle Whorls, used by the Salish as a tool to spin Mountain Goat wool. At this point in time he actively began to pursue a revival of his forefathers’ heritage. Because of the overwhelming influence of European culture in the Fraser Valley, and because of the privacy among the various nations, it prevented the northern nations from sharing their art with the Salish people. “The wood carvers in the north thought it was amusing that I wanted to carve,” Stan recalls of the ‘Ksan, “They laughed, and said the Salish people did not know how to carve.”

Nevertheless, Stan spent six months in 1975 learning from northern carvers, living near Hazelton, and his former hobby has become his profession. “I always wanted to do Salish carving”, he explains, “but there was no market until I started to do the Spindle Whorl designs.”

Salish representation is more “Life-like” and realistic in comparison to northern tradition. Greene now lives with his wife and three daughters, where he plans to continue “To try to bring out the Salish, the way it was.”

Stan Hunt

Stan Hunt is Kwaguilth artist from Fort Rupert, near Port Hardy British Columbia, Canada. His Grandfather, Mungo Martin, his father, Henry Hunt and his brothers Richard and Tony Hunt are all artists of international stature.

Stan was born on September 25, 1954 while his father was working for the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC. When Stan was thirty years old he was initiated into the Hamatsa Society and danced in the cedar bark ceremony for the first time. He first learned to carve toy boats and canoes. In 1976 Stan asked his father if he could be a carver. Henry replied “The first thing you have to do is make your own tools.” Stan spent the next three years learning knife techniques and carving plaques for the Victoria tourist trade. He also assisted his father on six totem poles. His interpretation of the Kwaguilth style is starkly traditional. No power tools are used, only traditional tools, the adze, straight knife and curved knife are used. The images are original but with traditional roots in the stories of the Kwaguilth people. Images passed down from one generation to the next.

Stan is a committed artist. He carves solely in Kwaguilth style that he learned form his father and brothers. His masks, totem poles and graphic original paintings are collected for their craftsmanship and authenticity. Stan’s work can be found in museum and private collections around the world.

Stephen Bruce

Stephen Bruce was born in 1968, in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada a small fishing village located along the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island. He a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples.

Stephen began to carve at the age of 18 with local, prominent artists such as Ned Matilpi, Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred. Their traditional styles and advanced workmanship established a certain level of quality in Stephen’s work from the start. Stephen has assisted numerous artists with monumental commissions earning him a reputation for monumental work, as well as the understanding and ability to answer to contractual obligations at a very early point in his career. This has continued to be a factor as he has received numerous commissions for totem poles, and he has completed solo exhibitions for a Vancouver based gallery.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith originates from Oweekeno Village in Campbell River, B.C., where he was born in 1968. In 1988, Steve was introduced to carving and painting by his late father, Harris Smith – Lalkawilas. Their collaborative effort produced unique sculptures in basswood, yellow cedar and alder.

After his lengthy apprenticeship, Steve branched out on his own producing a very distinct style of carved works utilizing traditional forms in a contemporary fashion. This young artist displays a rare talent in his works, which are finely finished and exhibit a craftsmanship of the highest quality. He now also collaborates on designs with artist Sabina Hill.

Steve Smith signs his work Dla’kwagila which means “Made to be Copper”. Each piece is finished with beeswax and can be cared for with a soft, dry cloth.

Artist Statement:
“In creating art, I try to work with the positive and negative space. The two are inseparable and, together with the right balance, can create a sense of harmony.”

Susan Point

Susan Point is a Musqueam First Nations artist.  She was born in 1952 and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Susan artistic career began in 1981 and she immersed herself in the study of traditional Coast Salish art, and emerged with a language of design, both authentic yet vibrantly contemporary.

As well as practicing traditional motifs, Susan also expresses her own personal style.  Like many First Nations artists, she uses the meaning found in traditional art to create innovative work in a wide range of mediums. Susan initially began producing fine art in precious metals, serigraphs and acrylic paintings; however, she is now producing large scale public art in mediums which include glass, wood, stainless steel and concrete.  Many of Susan’s works can currently be found in private and corporate collections in over twenty countries around the world.

From the Artist: “Coast Salish art is relatively unknown to most people today as it was an almost lost art form after European contact — the reason being is that Salish lands were the first to be settled by the Europeans which adversely affected my peoples’ traditional life-style.

Today, much of the native art associated with the Pacific Northwest Coast is from principle tribes of northern British Columbia.  Because of this, over the years, I spent a great deal of my time, as a Coast Salish artist, trying to revive traditional Coast Salish art in an attempt to educate the public to the fact that there was, and still is, another art form indigenous to the central Pacific Northwest Coast.

Although most of my earlier work is very traditional, today I am experimenting with contemporary mediums and themes; however, I still incorporate my ancestral design elements into my work to conditioning as well as social and economic conditions.

In creating my art, I feel a need to continually express my cultural background and beliefs yet, at the same time, my work continues to evolve with changes within and outside of my community.”

Terry Starr

Terry Starr is a Tsimshian artist, born March 2nd, 1951 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. He grew up in a village, Port Simpson, 20 miles north of Prince Rupert. His predominant family crest is the Eagle on his mother’s side, while his sub crest is the Killerwhale on his father’s.

Subsequent to completing a college business course, Terry began carving in his late twenties. His specialty is carving wood, Alder being the preference; he also paints and has produced many traditional prints based on Tsimshian imagery.

Tim Paul of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation and Richard Hunt of the Kwakwaka’wakw people were among the first to educate Terry on the basic techniques of carving wood. Their ancestral styles greatly influence the artwork that he creates today.

Terry is best known for his superbly refined masks reflecting the traditional pigments and form lines of his ancestry. He usually paints only a portion of his masks to deliberately reveal the fluid grain of the wood. As Terry’s career spans over twenty years, his expertise in achieving detail and his commitment to maintaining the traditional Tsimshian style is prevalent in his artwork. His pieces can be found in many local and international collections.

TJ Young

Having grown up in Hydaburg Alaska, TJ Young belongs to the Yassaas Eagle/Beaver Clan of the Kaigani Haida. TJ began working on his carving skill in 1997, after been given his first tools as a gift from his mother. He was introduced to Haida art by his grandfather Claude Morrison, whom he credits as a key influence. At an early stage in his life, TJ’s grandfather taught him how to hand-carve halibut hooks.

During his carving career, he has had the pleasure of working with other artists such as David Boxley, Warren Peele, Stan Marsden, and Veron Stephens, Most recently TJ has had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Dan Wallace, while attending the Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program, located in Vancouver.

TJ has also carved with his brother Joe Young, with whom he was hired by the University of Alaska Southeast. The university asked the duo to carve an Eagle crest totem out off a 45-foot red cedar pole. TJ’s carving work can also be seen on other totems, including a 40-foot pole for Sitka Nation Historical Park and a 32-foot pole for Hydaburg Totem Park.

TJ works predominantly in cedar, alder and yew woods. He crafts poles, masks, rattles, panels, sculpture and paintings.

Tom D. Hunt

The son of Hereditary Chief George Hunt and Mary Hunt, Tom D. Hunt is a member of the Kwakiutl, or Kwakwaka’wakw Nation who was born in Victoria in 1964. Tom began apprenticing in Kwakiutl art with his father at the age of twelve and later worked with his brother, George Hunt Jr. When entering his teenage years, Tom spent several summers in Campbell River working with his maternal grandfather, the late Sam Henderson. During that stage of his artistic development, Tom learned the traditional form of the Nakwaxda’xw Nation (Blunden Harbour).

With family ties in Campbell River and Fort Rupert, Tom’s strengths are like a cedar thread woven through his creations. His knowledge of the Kwakiutl history is illustrated in Tom’s artwork. Tom’s family is deeply involved in the potlatch system and many of Tom’s masks have been presented at these potlatches.

In 1983 he moved to his home village of Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), which is on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. There he worked as an assistant to his uncle, Calvin Hunt, owner and operator of Copper Maker Gallery. This apprenticeship was an important period in Tom’s development as a versatile and accomplished artist. He moves comfortably from massive wood sculptures to the very small, intricate pieces that are in demand. Tom has also been an assistant carver to Susan Point on several of her large sculptures.

Tom has art works in collections worldwide. He continues to produce pieces from his home in Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), where he lives with his daughter.

Trevor Angus

Born February 19, 1970, Trevor Angus grew up in his hometown of Kispiox, British Columbia.   Trevor carved his first plaque in grade four under the instruction of Victor Mowatt.  Dan Yunkws was also a teacher during this time.  

Trevor went on to complete the four year training program at the Kitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton in 1998.  In this way he became skilled in the design and carving of plaques, ladles, panels, masks, rattles, paddles and bentwood boxes.

Trevor has trained with esteemed artists such as Ken Mowatt, Vernon Stephens and Art Wilson.  Trevor is currently apprenticed to master carver Phillip Janze and is learning the fine art of jewelry making.

Wayne Young

1958 – 2012

Wayne Young was born in 1958 in Prince Rupert, BC. Wayne attended school in Prince Rupert and began his career as an artist there. He began drawing at an early age and received his first instruction in the techniques of Northwest Coast design at the age of fifteen. His first teacher was Dempsey Bob.

After a sojourn in the western United States and Vancouver, Wayne returned to Prince Rupert where he started to dance and carve. In 1986, he went to Chicago with the Native Dancers to greet the visiting Maoris from New Zealand. Between 1985 and 1989, Wayne assisted his uncles Robert and Norman Tait in carving a series of Totem Poles.

Well equipped by the instruction he received from his two internationally renowned uncles, Wayne embarked on a solo career. His carvings are in collections around the world and he regularly participates in exhibitions.

Willie (William) Wadhams

Willie (William) Wadhams was born in 1966 in Alert Bay, British Columbia, located off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island.  He is cousins with artist Cheryl Wadhams.  He is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, a group which inhabits the southern coast of the province.  Willie takes the Thunderbird and the Sisiutl (Double Headed Sea Serpent), two powerful mythical creatures, as his family crest symbols.

Willie began making native artwork in 1985 under the guidance of his uncle, Ray Wadhams.  Willie, already belonging to a family who were prominent and proven northwest coast carvers, reveals that it was only natural that he began to carve.

Willie is interested in his native culture and identity and hopes that through his artwork he is able to help preserve and pass on this heritage.  

Yukie Adams

Yukie Adams was born in Hokkaido, Japan. She studied oil painting and art history at Musashino Art College in Tokyo.

In 1983 Adams moved to Anchorage, Alaska. There she met artist Henry L. Adams who was Alaskan Tlingit. They married in 1984.

In 1988 she began studying Northwest Indian Art with her husband in Sitka, Alaska. Many collaborative works emerged from their studies. In the early 1990’s, Henry passed away, leaving her to continue learning and working with the art form that was a part of Henry’s cultural heritage, and a connection between them.

After five years in Alaska, Adams moved to Seattle, WA where she began studying Indian design under renowned artist Marvin Oliver, at the University of Washington. Soon after her study with Oliver, Adams began creating designs for limited edition prints, drums, and acrylic paintings.

Recently Adams has extended her Northwest Coast design to carvings, primarily high relief panels in cedar. Expressive formlines and rich colors distinguish her work.

Neeka Cook

Neeka is my Tlingit name – the wise man of the village. I am Eagle/Brown Bear Clan, or as we call it, Chookaneidi. My father is Tsimshian and Haida, from the Raven Killer Whale. My clan hails from the Ice House in Hoonah. I was born in Ketchikan but raised in Washington. I have always been drawn to our art and culture. My Uncle Fred Fulmer is a continued influence. We have performed many times with our dance group. I didn’t start to experiment with the art until 2005 when I challenged myself to create a design. I was shocked by the difficulty. I didn’t actually dig my heels in until 2007. I finally realized that this art form has been left by my ancestors for a reason. If not for this beautiful inheritance, I would still be a misguided warrior. I stuck with flat work designing for three or four years. I just began to carve and have been lucky enough to get my start with some direction by a Chookaneidi brother, Scott Jensen. The more work I do the more I understand that this art is a life long journey. We will always be teachers and students at the same time until we take our next journey.