June 22, 1967
Alert Bay, BC
Kevin Cranmer's grandfather was Chief Dan Cranmer, and his cousin is George Hunt Jr. He was first exposed to the art of his people at the Arts of the Raven Gallery in Victoria, BC, when he was in his late teens. It was there that he met and began working with Tony Hunt Sr. (Kwakwaka'wakw), Tony Hunt Jr. (Kwakwaka'wakw), and Calvin Hunt (Kwakwaka'wakw/Nuu-chah-nulth). In the late 1980s, Kevin began working with established Nuu-chah-nulth artist Tim Paul at the Royal BC Museum’s Thunderbird Park carving shed. It was at Thunderbird Park that Kevin began to work on monumental projects, including a 40-foot pole for Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and a 36-foot pole for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand. Kevin has been initiated as a Hamat’sa dancer, the most important of the complex dance societies of the Kwakwaka’wakw. In becoming a Hamat’sa, Kevin has become increasingly aware of the role that an artist plays in relation to the potlatch ceremony.