undefined - undefined

Beau Dick, Untitled (Potlatch Memorial)

Beau Dick
Alternative Name
Walas Gwa'yam
Medium Specific
13 x 16 1/2 in. (33 x 41.9 cm)
Accession Number
Gift of Gloria and Selig Kaplan
Memo / Artist Statement
“My style is sometimes referred to as ‘Potlatch Style’ as it comes from a tradition of ceremony which requires many masks to be made in a short period of time. It takes many years of practice and an understanding of balance in order to create a work that appears finished in a natural and instinctive manner, without seeming overthought.”
 (https://fazakasgallery.com/artists/beau-dick/, 2020)
Chief Beau Dick (b.Nov 23, 1955-d.Mar 27, 2017), acclaimed as one of the Northwest Coast’s most versatile and talented carvers, was born in Alert Bay, BC where he lived and worked. Reaching out beyond the confines of his own Kwakwaka’wakw culture, Dick explored new formats in his work, including painting and drawing. For more than three decades, he actively perpetuated the ceremonial traditions of his people. He began carving at an early age, studying under his father Benjamin Dick, his grandfather James Dick, and later renowned artists such as Henry Hunt and Doug Cranmer and worked alongside master carvers Robert Davidson, Tony Hunt, and the late Bill Reid. 

Taking much of his inspiration from traditional Kwakwaka’wakw art, Beau’s creations has been particularly noted for its embrace of contemporary influences, often incorporating European and Asian styles. His masks in particular have been lauded for their rough yet realistic presentation, representing a piece that is both austere yet incredibly life-like.

Beau’s art has gained steady recognition in both Canada and the internationally. A carving commissioned for Vancouver’s Expo ’86 proved to be a large stepping-stone in his career. The following decade saw many of his pieces featured in exhibitions that took his work to galleries and museums across Canada, the US, and Europe. 2010 saw four of Beau’s major works brought to Sydney, Australia to be displayed in one of the largest and most prestigious exhibitions in the world, the Sydney Biennale. 

Beau’s life story and art has been developed into a feature-length documentary film entitled Maker of Monsters. From 2013 to his passing in 2017, Dick was Artist-in-Residence at the UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, with his studio in the Audain Art Centre. 

(https://fazakasgallery.com/artists/beau-dick/, 2020)
Date of Bio