October 1, 1956
Alert Bay, BC
Richard Sumner began carving at the age of eighteen in 1974 with little training from other artists. He later apprenticed with late Kwakwaka'wakw artist Doug Cranmer in 1978. Richard carves in red and yellow cedar, and creates steam bent boxes, bowls, whistles, masks, rattles, and spoons. He was hired as part of the team to carve the beams and planks for the big house at the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC, and he assisted with the replica of the Wakas Pole located at Brockton Point in Stanley Park during the 1980s. His work has been seen in exhibitions, including group shows at the Gallery of Tribal Art in Vancouver, BC. Richard's work is part of the collection at UBC's Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC, the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC, and many corporate collections in Canada, USA, Japan, and Europe. In 2010, Richard won the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award in First Nations Art. He is regarded as one of the best bentwood box-makers working today.