Beau Dick - Tsawadinok
Beau Dick was born in 1955 in Alert Bay, B.C., just off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island in the ancestral land of the the Kwakwaka'wakw people. As an infant, Beau was taken by his family to Kingcome Village at the head of Kingcome Inlet on the mainland coast of British Columbia where he spent the first six years of his life. There, only his native language, kwakwala, was spoken. Later Beau was brought to Vancouver to attend school by summers were spent with his family in Alert Bay.
Beau began carving at the age of fifteen after careful instruction from his grandfather, Jimmy Dick. Beau assisted both his grandfather and father, Ben Dick, in the carving and painting of the worlds tallest totem pole (173') which is raised in Alert Bay. He was also taught and influenced by Henry Speck. Through the encouragement of Henry Speck Beau developed his skill as a Kwakwaka'wakw dancer and singer and joined the Kwak-Kwala Arts and Crafts Society. His uncle, Jimmy Dawson taught Beau much of the Kwa-gulth mythology and storytelling. Tony Hunt invited Beau Dick to come to Victoria to work alongside him and Chief Henry Hunt. This proved to be a turning point in his career. Since then, Beau has worked with a number of master carvers including Doug Cranmer, Bill Reid and Robert Davidson.
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.