Chief Beau Dick (1955–2017)

Photo by Scott Watson

We are profoundly saddened to share the news that Chief Beau Dick passed away last night. Beau was AHVA artist in residence since 2013 and he generously welcomed people from across the community to his studio at the Audain Art Centre. He was surrounded by close family and friends until the end. His actions will carry on through the presentation of his work next week at Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece.

Chief Beau Dick, acclaimed as one of the Northwest Coast’s most versatile and talented carvers, was born on Village Island, Kingcome Inlet, BC. He lived and worked in Alert Bay, BC, and Vancouver during his residency at the University of British Columbia. Reaching out beyond the confines of his own Kwakwaka’wakw culture, Dick explored new formats and techniques in his work, including painting and drawing. His work can be found in private collections as well as museums, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Gatineau, QC), the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Burke Museum (Seattle, WA), the UBC Museum of Anthropology, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Dick’s work was exhibited most recently in Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity (2016) at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery,  Sakahan: International Indigenous Art (2013) at the National Gallery of Canada, 75 Years of Collecting: First Nations: Myths and Realities (2006) at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Supernatural with Neil Campbell (2004) at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver). In 2012, Dick received the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award for Visual Arts. In 2015–16, Dick was an Andrew Fellow in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory.