“The faces of each person are the same. We are all the same; it’s just our customs that are different.”
Richard Hunt was born in 1951 in Alert bay, B.C., one of 14 children of Helen and Henry Hunt. He lived with his parents at Fort Rupert (Tsaxis) on northern Vancouver Island before the family moved to Victoria.
By the age of 13, Richard had determined to follow in the footsteps of Mungo Martin, of his father, and of his brother Tony. He began in earnest to study and learn the artistic traditions of the Kwa-giulth. In 1973, two years after his graduation from high school, he joined his father as an apprentice carver at Thunderbird Park. When his father retired the following year, it was Richard who succeeded him as Chief Carver. Richard spent the following thirteen years at Thunderbird Park. Although he had learned much from his father, the time spent at the Museum allowed him to develop artistically and to expand his talents in many directions.
In 1986, Richard left the Museum to pursue a career on his own. Since then, his artistic accomplishments and his reputation have continued to grow. In addition to producing carvings, paintings and serigraph prints, he has expanded his repertoire to include jewelry and clothing design.
By adhering strictly to the traditions of his culture, Richard Hunt is continuing the process of educating the public to appreciate and understand native art and traditions started by artists such as Mungo Martin and Henry Hunt, using his accomplishments as an artist to educate and to secure his cultural rights for future generations.