The Scow family, known as “The people of the Bear” are from the village of Gwayasdums on Gilford Island. They claim the Bear and Sisiutl, or double headed sea serpent, as family crests.
Brian comes from a long line of carvers and respected elders, including his great grandfather Mungo Martin and great grandfather Chief Johnny Scow. Brian has five brothers, all of whom are exceptional carvers, and began carving under the guidance of Wayne Alfred.
After completion of his high school education, Darren began carving full-time exclusively in wood and studied under Marvin Dana Baker, Floyd Joseph and Jacob Lewis all from the Squamish Indian Band. The following year he assumed the duties as a totem pole carver in the Thunderbird Park Carving program. In 1986, Darren resigned to begin a new career as a freelance artist.
Darren has developed his own unique West Coast style, incorporating images of animals that come from family crests and legends common to the Coast Salish Community. These stories and myths have been his inspiration throughout his years of carving. Darren Yelton has been influenced by many well-known artists and strives to achieve the utmost quality in his work. His contemporary style is refined, uncomplicated, and dimensional with a northern influence. Darren’s pieces are sought- after by many international collectors of Northwest Coast Native Artwork.
Through his art, Darren Yelton has indeed given much to the world and is at the same time is preserving his cultural background through his teachings and artwork for future generations. Canadian Indian Art Inc. pleased to represent the work of this prestigious Coast Salish.
Gilbert has been carving since 1995. He has worked with Beau Dick, Bruce Alfred, Sam Shaughnessy, Don Svanvyc, Joe Pederson and Joe Wilson. He has also immersed himself in the Kwakwala language and has learned more than 75 ceremonial songs. Gilbert is the nephew of jewellery carver, John Lancaster. In July of 2001, he carved many masks for a potlatch hosted by James Speck. Gilbert holds Wolf, Sun and Sisiutl as his crests.
Jonathan Jacobson was born in the small community of Kingcome Inlet, which is located on the mainland of British Columbia, adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and now resides in Fort Rupert. Many Kwakwaka’wakw artist incorporated a wide array of available colours that became available after European contact and Jonathan’s work is no exception. Jonathan’s carvings often combine traditional forms with bright and vibrant colours.
Jonathan is extremely passionate about his culture and this passion is reflected in his work. He is well known for his monumental cedar masks and wall panels.
Melanie is from Skidegate, located on Graham Island, in Haida Gwaii. She is the daughter of very well-known Haida argillite artist Ed Russ, who began teaching her to carve when she was just a young girl. He passed away recently, but Melanie feels that “he is still here with showing me the way me as he said to me to look at the rough argillite, then close my eyes, and I will see the design come out”.
Her mom, Faye Russ, also taught her to carve and continues to be her inspiration. Melanie works alongside her mom, creating beautiful argillite sculptures together. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her children.
Kenny was born in Kingcome Inlet, BC, a small community, across from the northern tip of Vancouver Island, located along the banks of the Gwa’yi River. He also traces his ancestry to Village Island, through his father’s lineage.
Kenny was inspired to carve by his father and knew from a young age, ever since he could hold a pencil, he wanted to be an artist. He has been carving for more than 10 years and strives to become a master.
Kenny hopes to inspire the next generation of young artists by sharing his knowledge and talent.
Peter Smith began carving in 1995, under the tutelage of Winadzi James. Artist such as Walter Smith, Sam Johnson, Jack James and Allan James, whom he watched carve at a young age, have also heavily influenced his style. Peter’s carvings are characterized by a melding of traditional and contemporary elements.
At the age of 4, Peter was given the name “Giq-Kalas,” which means “Son of Great Importance” and can be traced to Gilford Island and Alert Bay. He has a great interest and knowledge in Kwakwaka’wakw traditions and the meanings of masks and the associated songs.
In 2011, Peter took the standing of Hereditary Chief, which was passed to him by his father, the late Chief Charles Smith. Peter is extremely passionate about and proud of his heritage.
The Scow family, known as “The people of the Bear” are from the village of Gwayasdums on Gilford Island. The Scow’s claim the Bear and Sisiutl, or double headed sea serpent, as family crests.
Rupert comes from a long line of carvers and respected elders, including his great grandfather Mungo Martin and great grandfather Chief Johnny Scow. Rupert has five brothers, all of whom are exceptional carvers.
Under the guidance of Wayne Alfred, Vince Shaughnessy, and Stephen Bruce, Rupert began carving cedar in 1991, creating masks, rattles, bowls, poles and transformation masks. Having mastered the art of woodcarving, Rupert completed the Native Education Center’s jewelry course in 2008, and now volunteers his time teaching aspiring First Nations carvers in the lower mainland.
At the age of 12, after spending his early years in Alert bay watching his grandfather Chief William Robertson and other local carvers create masks along with other traditional regalia, Sammy began his carving career. He later apprenticed under distinguished Northwest Coast artists Simon Dick and Eddie McDougal.
Sammy creates masks, drums as well as larger totems and other ceremonial pieces. His works have become extremely collectable and his creations are represented in many of the top native art galleries.
Tim Alfred was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia in 1967 and moved to the village of Fort Rupert in 1985. His family tree includes the bands of Kwaguilth (Fort Rupert), Namgis (Alert Bay), Mumtagila (Etsekin), Mamalelegala (Village Island) and Tlowitsis (Turnor Island).
In 1989, at a memorial potlatch for his brother, his mothers family placed him in the family’s chief position at the Bighouse in Alert Bay where he received the name “Mus-cum-tsi”, which symbolizes the four clans of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation.
Tim first started carving in the world renowned Kwakiutl style at the age of 20 and was highly inspired and influenced by the work of well known artists such as Stan Hunt, Wayne Alfred, Beau Dick and Calvin Hunt. As a young artist, he was able to learn techniques for making bentwood boxes, planks from cedar logs, mask carving, paddles, model canoes and the making of dance regalia for traditional use in the Bighouse.
Some of his other projects include two drums and twenty paddles he made for the Fort Rupert elementary school in 1998. He as also done charity work for memorial trophies and made donations to various fund-raising events in his community, including the auction to benefit the reconstruction of the Alert Bay Bighouse. His work sells in many galleries including sales to museums in Alert Bay and Victoria.
Recently he has had the opportunity to work on totem poles with Calvin Hunt, Mervin Child and David Knox for the Kwakiutl Band daycare project in Fort Rupert.
William Cook Jr. resides in the small community of Alert Bay, located on Cormorant Island. He is the grandson of Chief Cecil Wadhams and the great grandson of Chief Alvin Alfred. William has become, under the guidance of David Matilipi and Cecil Wadhams, a distinguished silversmith and printmaker.