CHIEF BEAU DICK, WALAS GWA'YAM (1955–2017), was a Kwakwaka’wakw artist and activist born in Alert Bay, BC and one of the Northwest Coast’s most versatile carvers. He studied carving under his father, Benjamin Dick, his grandfather, James Dick, and renowned artists Henry Hunt and Doug Cranmer. He also worked alongside Robert Davidson, Tony Hunt, and Bill Reid. In support of the Idle No More movement, Dick performed two spiritual and political Copper-breaking ceremonies on the steps of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria in 2013 and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2014. His work has been shown in exhibitions around the world, including Canada House, London (1998); the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2010); documenta 14, Athens/ Kassel (2017); and White Columns, New York (2019). He was the recipient of the 2012 VIVA Award and was Artist-in-Residence at UBC’s Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory from 2013 to 2017.
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