David Neel

Northwest Coast Native Artist David Neel from Kwakwaka'wakw Nation

Kwakwaka’wakw Nation

David Neel has been creating art in the Kwakwaka’wakw style for over thirty years. His paintings, printmaking, carvings, and jewelry are all informed by his heritage, which includes several successful artists: Dave Neel Sr., his father; Ellen Neel, his grandmother; Mungo Martin, his great-great uncle; and Charlie James, his great-great-great grandfather. While many of his pieces are more contemporary in their material and design, Neel learned carving in the traditional style by his family and peers in his father’s village.

While Neel portrays meaningful stories and traditional values in all of his pieces, he says he finds jewelry the most impactful art form. He appreciates the fact that clients attach their own meaning to his jewelry and that it is used to mark important, personal events in people’s lives.

Neel has exhibited his work in many public institutions, including solo exhibitions at: the National Portrait Gallery of Canada; The Smithsonian Institution – NMAI; the Venice Biennale, and his work is represented in numerous public collections. His children are following in family legacy; studying art at the Emily Carr University and working with their father.

Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)

Present Works

  • Hummingbird Necklace

    David Neel

    Price upon request

    18K Yellow Gold, Abalone shell, Engraved
    16 x Gypsy Set Diamonds; 2 points, SI-1, G

    Pendant Dimensions: 2 x 1.5″
    Necklace Length: 22″

  • The Way Home: David Neel

    David Neel

    $32.95 CAD

    David Neel was an infant when his father, a traditional Kwakiutl artist, returned to the ancestors, triggering a series of events that would separate David from his homeland and its rich cultural traditions for twenty-five years. When he saw a potlatch mask carved by his great-great-grandfather in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the encounter inspired the young photographer to rekindle a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his father.

    Drawing on memories, legends, and his own art and portrait photography, David Neel recounts his struggle to reconnect with his culture after decades of separation and a childhood marred by trauma and abuse.  He returned to the Pacific Coast in 1987, where he apprenticed with master carvers from his father's village. The art of his ancestors and the teaching of the people he met helped to make up for the last years and fuelled his creativity.  His career as a multi-media artist also gave him the opportunity to meet and photograph leading artists, knowledgeable elders, and prominent people from around the world.  In time he was a recognized artists, with his artwork presented in more than forty solo and sixty group exhibitions.

    The Way Home is an uplifting tale that affirms the healing power of returning home.  It is also a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles, and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.


  • Box of Daylight

    David Neel

    $250.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Edition of 50



    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

    David Neel’s Box of Daylight uses the modern printmaking technique of serigraphy to create a deeply symbolic rendition of Raven bringing light to the world. In this classic tale, Raven resolved to steal the Sun from an old man who had been keeping it all to himself in an old cedar box. To do so, Raven transformed himself into cedar sprig, and fell into the water of the old man’s daughter. Shortly after drinking this water, the daughter gave birth to a baby boy, who the old man spoiled greatly. Eventually, this little boy convinced his grandfather to let him play with the old cedar box, which he took outside with him. The boy immediately transformed back into the Raven and stole the box away. However, as he was flying, a strong gust of wind blew the cedar box from his mouth, releasing the Sun into the sky. Here the Sun stayed, lighting the earth from that day on.

    In this piece, David strives to capture the deeper nature of this ancient tale. As such, Box of Daylight depicts Raven releasing not the Sun, but the Seed of Life, from Sacred Geometry. David’s use of the Seed of Life, which has a profound spiritual significance, highlights the true meaning of the legend. The story of the Raven bringing light to the world, at its most fundamental level, is a metaphor for the creation of the universe. Thus, Box of Light, encoded with this age-old knowledge, offers a glimpse into an ancient world.

    There is a wealth of information in traditional Indigenous tales, which are part of a long-standing oral tradition… While the delivery of the age-old stories may change, the essence of the tradition remains the same.”      ~David Neel

  • Bear Pendant

    David Neel

    $300.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Oxidized, Engraved

    Click here for Chain options, available at a separate cost.

  • Bear Pendant

    David Neel

    $350.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, 14K Yellow Gold, Engraved, Oxidized

  • Hummingbird & Bear Box (AP)

    David Neel

    $390.00 CAD

    Serigraph, Artist Proof, Edition of 7


    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

    Why an Artist Proof?

    The artist proof is often the first proof or set of proofs that the artist “pulls” to ensure that the image is printing to the desired effect. The Artist Proof holds a higher value than a regular edition piece due to its rarity as well as the possibility that they can contain the visual evidence of the artist’s progress. Artist Proofs are typically owned and kept by the artist so they are rarely released.

Past Works

The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.