Syllabic Translator

i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Beau Dick



First Name: Beau

Last Name: Dick

Full Name: Beau Dick

Alternative Names: Walas Gwa’yam (Big Great Whale)

Date of birth: November 23, 1955

Place of birth: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada 

Date of death: March 27, 2017

Place of death: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 

Community/Heritage: Kwakwaka'wakw

Sex: Male


Art Media: masks, bowls, rattles, drums, paintings, limited edition prints


Beau Dick was an artist and chief of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. He was born in 1955 in Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. After spending the first six years of his life in Kingcome village, Dick and his family moved to Vancouver, B.C. where he would attend school.

As a teenager, DIck demonstrated an interest in carving, after watching his grandfather Jimmy DIck, and would assist him and his father in the carving and painting of the World’s Tallest Totem raised in Alert Bay. 

Dick moved to Victoria at the age of 17 to apprentice under carver Tony Hunt. At the end of this period, Dick moved back to Vancouver and became influenced by the work of Doug Cranmer. Dick also assisted Bill Reid in his Haida canoe project at the University of British Columbia. Later, he worked with Robert Davidson on the Edenshaw Memorial House Front at Masset. Between 2014-16, Dick was the University of British Columbia’s Artist in Residence. 

Dick is widely acclaimed for his strong carving abilities and for the powerful quality of his masks. Reaching out beyond his own Kwakwaka’wakw culture, Dick has mastered the styles of other tribal traditions. He has also explored contemporary art with paintings that draw from European movements while expressing the mythology of his own culture. 

“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.” – Beau Dick


  • 1972: The Legacy Exhibition, Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1986: Expo ‘86, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2004: Supernatural: Neil Campbell and Beau Dick, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2005: Totems to Turquoise, New York, United States and Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 2009: Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2010: 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia
  • 2013: National Gallery of Canada, Sakahàn Exhibition, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 2015: The Box of Treasures: Gifts from the Supernatural, The Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2016: Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
  • 2017: Learning From Athens, Documenta 14, Athens, Greece

Solo Exhibition

  • 2019: Beau Dick: Devoured by Consumerism, White Columns, New York City, New York, United States
  • 2019: Beau Dick: Early Works, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia


Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, Canada


  • Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit by Darrin Martens
  • Beau Dick: Devoured by Consumerism by Latiesha Fazakas



  • 2017: Maker of Monsters, Vancouver International Film Festival


2012: Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award for Visual Arts


Title Last Sold At Auction
CRANE, 1981 2023-06 (June 2023)
FOOL (NOOHLMAHL) MASK, 1981 2023-06 (June 2023)
GA AK STOLIS 2009-03 (March 2009)
KOMINA (RICH WOMAN) 2022-09 (September 2022)
LANDS AND FRIENDSHIP 2009-03 (March 2009)
OTTER WOMAN MASK 2015-11 (November 2015)
RAVEN 2017-11 (November 2017)
RAVEN MASK 2015-10 (October 2015)
SUN MASK 2018-12 (December 2018)
THE BREAKFAST GIVER 2019-04 (April 2019)
WILD WOMAN MASK 2015-10 (October 2015)
YO-LA WIND MASK 2022-09 (September 2022)

Recent Auction Results

CRANE, 1981
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Jun 2023 — Sold For: $338.25
Estimate: 8,000 — 10,000
Sold: Jun 2023 — Sold For: $11,562
Estimate: 30,000 — 35,000
Sold: Sep 2022 — Sold For: $56,400
Estimate: 15,000 — 20,000
Sold: Sep 2022 — Sold For: $14,400
Estimate: 100 — 125
Sold: Apr 2019 — Sold For: $450
Estimate: 6,000 — 9,000
Sold: Dec 2018 — Sold For: $19,200

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