David Stephens has been interested in Indian art and cultures all of his life. David began seriously studying Northwest Coast Indian Art in 1983 after moving to Seattle, Washington. There he worked with two of the modern masters of this art form. David took Bill Holm’s University of Washington classes on Northwest Coast are and culture for two years in a row. Bill became a mentor to David and the two men have worked together for many years. David was most gratified to assist Bill with the Longhouse project at camp Northwester. David also studied carving techniques from artist Duane Pasco. David was also honored to study traditional Kwakiutl dance from one of today’s finest dancers, Henry Seaweed.
David has carved professionally since 1985. He has made masks, bentwood boxes and bowls, intricate rattles and monumental totem poles for sale and also for ceremonial use. Artistically, David is a strong traditionalist, finding great room for self-expression even within the bounds of what might be called ‘old style’ art.
David’s work shows in galleries in Skagway and Juneau, Alaska, New York City, Seattle, Washington, and his hometown, Olympia, Washington.
David spends several months each year working as a naturalist on small cruise ships. He teaches about natural history while traveling shipboard on the Columbia River, around Vancouver Island, and in Southeast Alaska. David finds this time spent on the Northwest Coast very valuable to his art. The wildlife and scenery are inspiring and spiritually renewing, and David enjoys direct connection to the country that helped create one of the world’s great art traditions.