Born in 1958 into the Kwakwaka’wakw ‘Namgis First Nation on the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island, Wayne Alfred is an artist whose defined and detailed work showcase both his own interpretation of his tribe’s traditional style and that of the masters who came before him. A close friend of fellow carver Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred began carving at a very young age, a talent that was immediately supported and encouraged by the elders in his community. More than forty years later and Wayne’s skills are among the most honed of his kind.
In addition to his talents as a carver, Alfred is also a respected dramatic ceremonial singer and dancer within his community. Each year, during Potlatch ceremonies, his knowledge of formal Kwakwaka’wakw practices and stories are eagerly called upon, including his abilities to translate such things through performance. His steadfast commitment to his culture and the wealth of insight he holds in regards to Kwakwakwa’wakw myth and history has set Alfred apart as an indispensable leader within his community.