Joe Wilson

Kwakwaka'wakw (Namgis)

January 14, 1966

Alert Bay, BC

Joe R. Wilson (Hak’wesagame’) is a Kwakwaka'wakw/'Namgis artist born on January 14, 1966 in Yalis (Alert Bay, BC). He is the grandson of 'Namgis Hereditary Chief Alvin Edgar Alfred (K’odi U’dzistalis). At the age of 13, Joe took a design course with Doug Cranmer, but did not begin carving professionally until age 21, when he discovered and was deeply inspired by the works of master carver Chief Willie Seaweed. From 1996 to 1997, Joe led a team of carvers in the construction of a Kwakwaka'wakw style village at Dolfinarium Harderwijk, a marine mammal park in the Netherlands. Beyond his early training, he is largely self-taught. Whether he is carving wood, silver, copper, or gold, Joe is known for his intricate and detailed style.