Bill Henderson – Master Carver

Bill Henderson of the Wei Wai Kum Band of Campbell River is one of the most successful master carvers of his time,  and has established an international reputation with collectors of First Nation’s art.  He has been commissioned to carve several traditional totem poles to commemorate important Kwakwaka’wakw people and events, and creates dancing masks, paddles, bowls and plaques.  In 1983, he presented the town of Ishikari, Japan with one of his totem poles as a gift from its sister city, Campbell River.

Henderson began carving with his father, the late Sam Henderson, when he was seven years old.  Sam Henderson was not only an eminent Nak’waxda’xw carver, but also a devoted protector of ancient cultural traditions.  May Quocksistala Henderson,  Bill’s mother, was a high ranking woman of the Campbell River Band.  He also credits the great Kwakwaka’wakw master carvers Mungo Martin and Henry Hunt as major influences on his own work.  He distinctively carries on the Henderson legacy and passes on his knowledge and skills graciously to many of his nephews.

Henderson says that “the woods and waters of the [Kwakwaka’wakw] homeland are rich in animals and I have worked to capture the natural and supernatural figures in many of my masks”.  Pictured here is his Owl Mask, and the vibrant colours and strong lines speak clearly of Henderson’s skill and interpretation.

The Shop at the Campbell River Museum specializes in First Nations Art and carvings like the work of Bill Henderson.  Come in for a visit!

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The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit www.crmuseum.ca

Mark Henderson – First Nations Painter

Mark Henderson is a well known First Nations artist and member of the Campbell River Band.  He began painting traditional Kwakuitl designs at age 11 and received encouragement from his father, Sam Henderson, a famous Kwakiutl carver.

Henderson says that both of his parents (his mother was the late May Quocksister Henderson, the eldest daughter of a high-ranking family of the Wewaikum Band) were a major influence in his early artistic development, and wanted him to be familiar with his cultural background, teaching him the legends, songs and dances that have been part of his family heritage for many generations.  He was also influenced by other artisits like Henry Speck, Mungo Martin and Willie Seaweed.

Henderson believes that it is important to maintain traditional elements and colour in his artwork, while experimenting and developing his own creative ideas.  He prefers to work in acrylic paint on paper and produces limited edition silkscreen prints from the originals.

Mark Henderson’s exceptional and beautiful original pieces and prints can be found in the Shop of the Campbell River Museum, along with other First Nations artwork including carving, basketry and jewellery.  For information call: 250-287-3103.

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Connect with us here:

Campbell River Museum on Facebook
Campbell River Museum YouTube Channel
Campbell River Museum on Flickr
Campbell River Museum on Twitter

The Campbell River Museum maintains collections and archives from Campbell River’s wide and diverse history, culture and community.  For more information about your local Campbell River Museum, call 250-287-3103 or visit www.crmuseum.ca