Beau Dick was from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation and was born in Alert Bay on Vancouver Island in 1955. He studied sculpture and painting in school and then went back to his native village to learn more from his father and grandfather. In Beau’s works is captured the true nature of the mythological characters as they are told in their stories. Gruesome when necessary, but always beautiful, his masks conveyed the essence of Pacific Northwest Coast magic and performance in ceremony. Indeed, all of his carvings were executed with the greatest of skill and imagination. Beau worked with West Coast artists and has studied with Doug Cranmer, a master Kwakiutl carver as well as with Henry Hunt, who taught him traditional design and carving techniques.
Beau was a prolific and respected artist. He was chosen to carve the large four way split transformation mask for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo ‘86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, now in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec. He was also commissioned to carve a major eleven-figure pole by the City of Vancouver for Stanley Park.
The artist passed in 2017.