Joe DavidFrancis DickStan Greene
Edward JoeMaynard Johnny Jr.Floyd JosephTim Paul

Joe David

Joe David was born in 1946 at Opitsaht, a Clayoquot village on Meares Island, on the western shore of Vancouver Island. His family resettled to Seattle, Washington, in 1958—and they moved frequently during his teen years. His father, Hyacinth David, was a respected chief and elder of the Clayoquot nation, and even though he had removed his family from Nuu-chah-nulth territory, he remained connected to the village and practiced the traditional values and ceremonies.

Joe vividly recalls watching the ceremonies he attended as a child. His grandmother was a medicine-woman who predicted that Joe would become an artist while he was still an infant. Both his father and mother had been initiated in the (Klukwana) Wolf ritual. In 1969, he received from his father’s family the name “Ka-Ka-Win- Chealth” (Supernatural White Wolf transforming into Killerwhale), in recognition of his commitment to carving and cultural participation. Joe expanded the cultural teachings started by his father by visiting museums and libraries and studying Nuu-chah-nulth art and culture. He studied art in Seattle and San Marcos, Texas, but his interest in his own heritage and tradition led him to Bill Holm, the Northwest Coast scholar at the University of Washington, and also to Duane Pasco, an early artist of the contemporary generation of Northwest Coast art, to begin an intensive study of traditional Northwest Coast objects. His later investigations concentrated on only Nuu-chah-nulth style. He was drawn to the spiritual essence within the art and culture—and this later directed his path in art-making. Joe began a spiritual quest starting with his own cultural beliefs, which later led him to the practices of other nations across North America and internationally. He has had a long-term relationship with the Maori of New Zealand and has attended and participated in many events there. In 1988, he participated in the Sundance ceremonies at Camp Anna Mae, Big Mountain, Arizona, and has continued to attended each year —and, with rare exception, has often been one of the participants.

Joe David today is among the most respected master-artists of the Northwest Coast. Museums, private collectors, and corporations collect his graphics, wood sculpture, silver, and bronze internationally. He is also dedicated to participating and contributing to contemporary ceremonies as well as lecturing on Northwest Coast art. In 2000, he was the first artist chosen for the Aboriginal Artist in Residence program at the Pilchuck Glass School.

Francis Dick

Francis Dick belongs to the Musgamakw Dzawadaenutw Band of Kingcome Inlet and is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. She is a descendant of the supernatural Wolf, Kawadelekala, who was the first of the Kingcome people. The image of this mythical being is prominent in much of Fran Dick’s work. The wolf Kawadelekala is one of four siblings, which came from a wolf named Galalalite. In the origin story of Dick’s family, Galalalite came out of the top end of Kingcome Inlet. From Galalalite came four wolves: Kawadelekala, his brother Kwalili, their sister Hayalilegas and the youngest brother Na’nola’kw. Kawadelekala stayed in Kingcome Inlet and shed his animal form to become first of the Kingcome people of whom Fran Dick’s family is direct descendents. Much of her work contains images of Kawadelekala acknowledging her contemporary ties to her cultural past. Francis says that “Before anything else, my work is about honoring my life process, my journey through my fires, from places of pain and darkness to places that I might stand in my truth; my work is not a career, it is a way of life.”

Fran was born in the small village of Alert Bay in 1959. She spent the majority of her childhood there until she moved away to Victoria as a young adult. As a young woman, Francis began a career as a social worker but soon realized that her true work in life was to honour her natural artistic talents. Francis produced carvings in Alert Bay for several years, working with her first cousin Beau Dick, Bruce Alfred and Fah Ambers. This work soon allowed Francis to discover that she also loved writing and performing. In June 1992, she wrote and produced a ceremony performance called ‘Wiwoma’ at the Newcombe Theater in Victoria.  Although she expresses herself primarily through paintings, prints, and singing, Francis also works with gold, silver and wood. Currently, Francis offers drum-making workshops and is often requested to speak for various community organizations, women’s groups and university classes. In October 1994, Francis was initiated into the highest-ranking society in her nation, the Hamatsa. She presently lives in Victoria, B.C. where she is continually working with her creative expressions to fabricate a meaningful way of life.

Stan Greene

Stan Greene is a Salish artist born in Mission, British Columbia on April 15,1953. His mother was Halkomelum (Sto Lo) and his father was from Semiahmo (White Rock). His grandfather on his father’s side was full blooded Nez Perz that traces back to the great Chief Joseph. He was raised by his grandparents and exposed to Salish culture from an early age.

He began carving at the age of 13. His grandfather had a small collection of carvings and a set of carving tools that Stan studied with as a young man. At the age of 21, he began carving for a living and in 1977 he attended the Ksan School of Art where he learned northern (Tsimshian) design. His teachers were Walter Harris, Ken Moatt, Earl Muldoe and Vernon Stevens. In 1978, Stan did his first Salish designs for the limited edition prints, “Human and Thunderbird” and “Man with Wolves,” which are considered to be the first examples of pure Salish design to be marketed in the Northwest Coast art scene.
He carved at Expo 86 in Vancouver representing the Salish people and has traveled to Japan where a 27 foot pole that he carved was raised in Kanazawa Park in Yokohama. Stan now carves in both the northern style and the Salish style, but he believes that they should not be mixed. There was no one to teach him the Salish design forms so he did his own research, studying the old pieces in the British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and questioning the elders in his community. Today there is still only a handful of artists that understand the Salish art form. Stan is striving for more understanding of this culture.

Stan remembers being ridiculed when he was young. He felt out of place. His art has taught him the value and importance of his own cultural background. A few years ago, Stan began exploring his Nez Perz roots. Today he and his daughter are avid Pow Wow dancers traveling around Canada and the USA competing. Stan’s name is A-E-Ya which means “good doctor.” Stan Greene is devoted to the advancement of the Salish culture but he still finds inspiration from all cultures. His work is in collections around the world. He continues to work. The wood carvings are reminders of stories from the distant past speaking to him like that old collection that his grandfather used to show him.

Edward Joe

Edward Joe was born on Vancouver Island, in the small town of Ladysmith, December 1969. Later, in his youth he moved to Duncan where he currently resides. He is the second oldest of four children: one brother and two sisters. He started creating art in the Northwest Coast style in 1987.

In 1992, Edward graduated with a Provincial Diploma. He continued his desire to educate himself and enrolled at one of Canada’s top arts schools, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Edward completed his Diploma in Fine Arts in 1998. Wishing to pursue his search for knowledge and individual style of expression, he challenged his artistic abilities and enrolled into the Associate of Fine Arts Degree program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he received his Associate Degree in 2001.

Edward grew up surrounded with a rich culture that has had a mountainous influence on himself as well as his art. Salish art has a smooth flowing motion intended to create a calm mood. The stories, legends and myths are depicted in many of his art pieces. Animals from the land, the sea and the sky are designed in a playful manner. The art he creates develops and changes continuously. Edward’s goals are not only to revive the ancient Salish art form, but also to break free and redefine boundaries within it. He has done extensive research in museums and books and has become passionate in learning the roots of the ancient Northwest Coast.

Maynard Johnny Jr.

Maynard Johnny Jr. was born April 4, 1973 in Campbell River, B.C. He is of Kwaguilth and Coast Salish descent, inheriting a unique blend of culture and tradition and having lived in both Canada and the United States. Maynard also is influenced by the native cultures in both countries. Maynard began drawing at the age of six; however it was not until he was seventeen that he began working seriously at native art.

Since that beginning with native art, Maynard has won a number of logo and art competitions. His blending of the Salish and Kwaguilth art forms has resulted in a unique and contemporary vision of many of the traditional legends. Maynard tries to incorporate those legends with each piece that he does and in the telling of the story, he continues a long tradition that enhances his artwork and authenticates his interpretation of the designs.

With the unique blend of colour, design ideas, cultures, and stories that make up each of the pieces Maynard creates, he is certain to become one of the new young native artists avidly sought after today.

Floyd Joseph

Floyd Joseph was born on October 29th, 1953, on the Capilano Reserve in North Vancouver, British Columbia, as a member of the Squamish band of the Coast Salish Nation. Since childhood, Floyd was talented in drawing and painting. At the age of nine, his creative qualities led him to discover his ability to carve with the guidance of Ed Billy, Larry Joseph, Bobby Cole and Buffalo Mathias.

During his final years at Carson Graham high school in North Vancouver, Floyd was inspired to new artistic levels by Frank Perry who was European trained and a friend of the Haida artist and master carver, Bill Reid. Perry had a huge influence over Floyd, teaching him to be self-confident, self-reliant and the importance of personal independence. Even during his teens, Floyd’s charming and original masks, bowls, plaques and totem poles were sought by art lovers.

Floyd majored in art at Capilano College (sculpture, potter, drawing and design). He visited Paris, Amsterdam and London to explore the museums, the art and the culture. Floyd’s woodcarvings are both lifelike and beautiful. His Eagles, Loons, Ravens, Bears, Whales and other creatures important in Coast Salish legends are very delicately carved. The painted designs that adorn his pieces are nicely balanced and are reminiscent of the northern style of the Tsimshian. Floyd’s desire to live in harmony with nature is reinforced in his work. He brings to life the stories and legends of his people through his art, passing down the tradition of storytelling to us.

Tim Paul

Tim Paul was born in 1950 in the isolated village of Esperanza Inlet, north of Tofino on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He began carving in 1975 under the direction of Ben Andrews and later with John Livingston at the Arts of the Raven studio in Victoria, BC. He accepted the position of Assistant Carver to Richard Hunt at the Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum in 1977 and seven years later he became the first carver from outside of the Hunt family to hold the position of senior carver. He held this position until 1992 when he left to oversee a native education program for Vancouver Island.

During his time with the museum he accepted and initiated many prestigious totem pole commissions including the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec and in Auckland, New Zealand as a presentation to commemorate the 1990 Commonwealth Games. In addition to these successes, Tim Paul also worked as the Chief Carver on projects for Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. Tim has been asked to make ceremonial pieces and cultural commissions through out his career. He has also honoured traditional guidelines for making pieces that would represent the Nuu-chah-nulth people around the world.