Kevin Daniel Cranmer
Kwakwaka’wakw artist Kevin Cranmer was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, but has lived all but four years of his life in Victoria. His father, Danny, is from the ‘Namgis Nation, while his mother, Lily, is from the Mamlilikala Nation. These are just two of the many Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. Cranmer’s work often speaks to his diverse coastal background as he can trace his ancestry to the many Nations of Kwakwaka’wakw people as well the Tlingit of Alaska.
As the nephew of Doug Cranmer, the renowned Kwak’waka’wakw artist and Namgis chief, Kevin has been immersed in the world of art from a very young age. His formal instruction came under the tutelage of his cousin, George Hunt Jr. He later worked with artists Tony Hunt Sr., Tony Hunt Jr., and Calvin Hunt. Kevin’s introduction to larger monumental sculpture began when he first started to work alongside renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist, Tim Paul, in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Thus, his large-scale works include several large co-operative projects: a 40 foot pole which stands in Stanley Park, Vancouver; a 36 foot pole carved for the closing ceremonies at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand and an elaborately carved and painted Chief’s seat for the newly rebuilt Big House in Alert Bay.
Kevin Cranmer is an active participant in the continuation of his cultural heritage through the arts. He is a respected member of his community and is an initiated Hamatsa member, one of the most sacred of the complex secret dance societies of the Kwakwaka’wakw. His artistic works not only exhibit and share unique Kwakwaka’wakw formal traditions but also preserve those traditions for future generations. Kevin Cranmer continues to create pieces for family and for use in ceremony.
2017 British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art
2014 Winter Solstice: Celebrating the Coming of Light, an online group exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver, B.C., November
2012 Cranmer + Gray, Duel Artist exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. Vancouver, BC.
2007 Coastal Legacy, Group exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. Vancouver, BC.
2006 Transcendence: a decade in perspective, Group exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts
Gallery. Vancouver, BC.
2005 Where the Spirits Gather, Group exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. Vancouver, BC.
2005 Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest, Group Exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. New York, USA.
2004 Box of Treasures, Group exhibition at Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. Vancouver, BC.
Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)
Red Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Copper, Acrylic paint
A frontlet is a forehead mask attached to a woven headpiece. It is worn by chiefs and high-ranking individuals as a display of crests and status. Frontlets are often decorated with materials that are symbols of wealth and power: abalone shell, operculum shell, sea lion whiskers, feathers and/or ermine pelts.
Hide, Acrylic paint, Yellow Cedar, Leather
Drum: 20 x 20 x 3″
Beater: 19 x 2.5 x 1″
The drum is considered one of the main percussive instruments, along with the rattle, which was used in traditional Northwest Coast ceremonies and cultural events. Its beat provides the basis from which dances, songs and oral histories are performed during a Potlatch.
The intelligent Eagle symbolizes status, power, peace and friendship.
The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, commissions may be available – please inquire here (please note that not every artist accepts commissions).