Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), AOD

West Vancouver, British Columbia
Kwakwaka’wakw / Squamish

Xwalacktun is an internationally renowned artist with roots in the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Kwakwaka’wakw Nation (Alert Bay). His remarkable artistic career spans over 40 years, encompassing a wide range of mediums, from public art and sculpture to metalwork, jewelry, glasswork, drawing, printmaking, and his renowned wood carving. He seamlessly blends traditional Salish forms with contemporary expressions, a hallmark of his distinctive style.

His art has captivated collectors worldwide and graced exhibitions both locally and internationally. Xwalacktun’s creative journey began with a degree in sculpture from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Xwalacktun has shared his talent in Scotland, promoting its totem pole project and demonstrating his carving techniques in several Scottish communities. He is an artist, an educator and a mentor whose practice nurtures many apprentices, including his sons.

He played a pivotal role in preserving Salish culture as a contributing artist for Simon Fraser University’s 2009 “A Journey into Time Immemorial.”

Xwalacktun’s artistic legacy is interwoven with his community involvement, attending local events, and offering cultural greetings. His numerous accolades include his 2022 Honorary Doctorate from Emily Carr University, the 2016 First Nations Art Award, and the 2012 Order of BC. His art adorns public spaces across Canada and internationally, showcasing his ability to seamlessly blend tradition with modernity.


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