Born in 1947 on Gilford Island and raised in Kingcome Inlet B.C., Stan Wamiss is an internationally renowned Northwest Coast artist. He is a member of the Quatsino First Nation, and lives and carves at his home studio in British Columbia.
Wamiss apprenticed under his father Tom Patch Wamiss-a highly accomplished master carver, as well as the highest ranking chief in Kingcome Inlet and among the Kwakwaka’wakw. He carves in the traditional Kwakwaka’wakw (“Kwakiutl”) style, and his work is reminiscent of Willy Seaweed, whom he considers an inspiration and mentor. Wamiss’ strict attention to detail reflects unique interpretations of traditional elements, themes and forms. He carves a variety of objects including masks, totems, paddles, bowls, plaques, talking sticks, feast dishes, and rattles, and he is well known for his magnificent large-scale masks, full-size totem poles, and canoes. He prefers to work with western red cedar and yellow cedar, species central to Kwakwaka’wakw culture and his ancestry.
Some of Stan’s work was featured in the 1988 Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition “Down from the Shimmering Sky,” an exhibit that has been displayed at a number of selected museums across North America. In addition to his work being widely shown at galleries and museums across North America, Wamiss’ is frequently commissioned to create art for public display; his “Transformation Mask” is in the East Chevron Wing of the Vancouver International Airport, and his “Huxwhukw” mask is at the Museum of Liverpool (and also featured in American Indian Arts Magazine, Spring 2005).