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Beau Dick (born November 23, 1955) is a Canadian Northwest Coast Native artist of Kwakwaka'wakw descent, and is noted as one of the Northwest Coast's most multifaceted, talented carvers. From a young age he was heavily influenced by the traditional carving work of both his grandfather and father, with whom he assisted in carving one of the world’s tallest totem poles in Alert Bay, BC.
Now, after more than three decades of carving, Beau Dick continues to explore realms beyond that of his own Kwakwaka'wakw culture, mastering the styles of other tribal traditions. Another one of the distinguishing characteristics of his work is the embracing of contemporary, European & Asian influences. In the last decade, his work has been featured in a number of international exhibitions, helping introduce his pieces to a more contemporary audience. Beau's work was featured alongside that of artist Neil Campbell in the 2004 exhibition "Supernatural - Beau Dick and Neil Campbell" at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, followed by the 2005 "Totems to Turquoise" exhibit in both New York and Vancouver. In 2009, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection showcased Beau's work in their exhibit entitled "Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast".
Most recently, the story of Beau’s life and art is being developed into a feature-length documentary entitled Meet Beau Dick: Maker of Monsters to be tentatively released in 2014. He is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the University of British Columbia for 2013 – 2014.
Photography courtesy Fazakas Gallery