First Name: Wayne
Last Name: Alfred
Full Name: Wayne Alfred
Name in syllabics: N/A
Alternative Names: N/A
Date of birth: 1958
Place of birth: Albert Bay, British Columbia, Canada
Date of death: N/A
Place of death: N/A
Community/Heritage: Kwakwaka’wakw ‘Namgis First Nation, Nimpkish Band
Disc Number: N/A
Art Media: Carving, masks, totems
Wayne Alfred was born in 1958 in Alert Bay, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Belonging to the Nimpkish people, Alfred also has ties to the people of Gilford Island and Kingcome Inlet through his mother, and to the well-known Hunt family from Fort Rupert through his paternal grandmother, meaning that he has hereditary rights to carve in both the Kwakwaka'wakw and Tlingit styles
Alfred grew up in a large family that was culturally, artistically and politically active within the Nimpkish band. As such, he was exposed to traditional ceremonies and the art of Willie Seaweed, Charlie George and Bob Harris. Alert Bay continued to hold Potlatch ceremonies despite the Government of Canada’s ban against such practices, which meant that Alfred grew up surrounded by the culture of his people. Alfred became an authority in formal Kwakwaka’wakw practices and stories. His knowledge and familiarity with historical and oral traditions have set him apart as a community leader and inspiration to younger artists.
Alfred began carving at a very young age and received a great deal of support and encouragement from his elders to pursue his artwork on a full-time basis. Alfred began sketching and painting Kwakiutl designs around 1971 and started selling his drawings to local residents and tourists in 1975. Since then he has started carving wood, both for sale and for ceremonial use and is best known for his carved masks.
Alfred moved to Vancouver in early 1986 to apprentice with Beau Dick. Together they worked on a totem pole commissioned by the City of Vancouver for Stanley Park. In 1998, Alfred helped rebuild the ‘Big House’ in Alert Bay, a central community structure that was destroyed in a fire a year earlier.
999: Down from the shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast, Vancouver Art Gallery and the Royal British Columbia Museum
2012: Awarded BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art
|Title||Last Sold At Auction|
|MOON MASK||2020-10 (October 2020)|
|SNEEZER||2020-10 (October 2020)|
|STUMP MASK||2020-10 (October 2020)|