Beau Dick | the artist




The artist Beau Dick
Born 1955, Alert Bay, Canada.
Lives and works in Alert Bay, Canada.

Style and technique of the artist: Drawing, Painting, Sydney Biennale,


Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:









Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.

Beau Dick
The skill of the Northwest Coast woodworker revealed itself in the best of the bentwood boxes and chests. Meticulous measuring ensured that the wooden container would have even sides, vertical corners, a flat base and a lid that fit with exactness. Without ruler, set square or compass, the box-maker used his own system of geometry for measuring and calculating…

Beau Dick
Beau Dick is versatile in several media. His work is found in many important private and public collections world – wide. He is known for the powerful quality of his masks, and reaching out beyond the confines of his own culture; he has exhibited in countless group exhibitions and has been the subject of many solo exhibitions. His work is found in private and public collections. He created a transformation mask for Expo ’86 which now hangs in the Museum of Civilization, in Hull, Quebec. Locally, Dick has many pieces on display in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia…

Beau Dick
Beau Dick is an accomplished and talented Kwakwa ka̲’wakw carver. He is actively engaged in all aspects of Kwakwaka’wakw culture and is highly regarded as a teacher and mentor. Although he is a prolific artist, Dick has concentrated on his culture as a whole, studying and revivifying the traditions of carving, dancing, and storytelling. While he recognizes the art market has played an important role in providing employment, and helped to keep the old forms
from disappearing – he sees the masks as having their full purpose realized only within the integrated rituals of dances and potlatches. Originally, masks were seen in flickering firelight, brought to life by the calculated but exuberant gestures of a skilled dancer. Whether naturalistic or extremely stylized, masks are intended to present animate beings. Both in functional and ćsthetic terms, a mask’s degree of success is tied to its degree of animation. It is common to hear Dick’s masks praised for ‘being alive’. On one level, all good artists are actors; when Dick tells a story it is clear he is a born actor. His dramatic or poetic sensibility equally inflects his carving and painting.

Beau Dick
Beau often watched his grandfather, Jimmy Dick, carve. At the age of 14 he became interested in learning. Jimmy thought that Beau was too young and would not allow him to use his carving tools. Jimmy stored all his tools under lock and key in a large wooden chest. One day Jimmy went to town for a few days. Beau took the hinges off his grandfather’s chest to gain access to the carving tools. Needless to say, his grandfather arrived early, only to find Beau carving away. From then on, Beau was allowed to use his grandfather’s tools. He started to learn from both his father, Ben, and grandfather Jimmy…



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