Alvin Mack was born in Bella Coola, British Columbia in 1956 and is an accomplished and well-respected artist of the Nuxalk Nation. He is the last son of renowned carver William Mack and cites his father as one of his greatest influences. At the age of 13 he began to experiment with carving cedar and eventually became successful in producing quality monumental totem poles and ceremonial items containing traditional Nuxalk art forms.
Wanting to learn more, Alvin enrolled in ‘Ksan School of Northwest Coast Art, where he was taught under master carvers Earl Muldoe, Walter Harris, Vernon Stephens and Ken Mowatt, graduating at the top of his class in 1985.
Upon his return to Bella Coola, Alvin immersed himself in the culture of his Nuxalk ancestry, translating the Nuxalk mythology into every project. Mack considers creating art akin to culture, and sees no distinction between the two. He is passionate about his Nuxalk heritage and sees art as playing an essential role in keeping traditions alive and educating people about Nuxalk history.
Alvin is highly regarded in the Nuxalk community and has mentored dozens of young artists through his work at the local Acwsalcta School. Alvin creates outstanding works in several mediums, and has led many major projects in the community that can be seen in the beautiful valley of Bella Coola, B.C.
“I always go back to our history, and that history has so much lost information that needs to be rebuilt in our community. So the subject for me is to bring that history out: who we are, where we’re from, and we can let the world know ‘this is us’ through our art.”
2014 BC Aboriginal Creative Achievement Award