Born on July 27, 1981, David Robert Boxley is the son of the world-renowned carver and culture bearer, David Albert Boxley. At six years old, David Robert began carving under the instruction of his father. Around this same time he also began to travel around the United States to assist his father in raising totem poles and teaching people about Tsimshian culture. From a very young age David Robert was passionate and proud of his culture. As an adult, the love and respect he has for his culture is expressed through both his two-dimensional and three-dimensional art.
In 1982, David Robert’s father was the first man to hold a potlatch in his village of Metlakatla, Alaska in modern times. At twenty years of age, David Robert is following in his father’s footsteps by being the first of his generation hold his own potlatch. When he was 13 years old, David Robert was the youngest person to coordinate a totem pole raising. He has taught S’malgyax (Tsimshian language), Tsimshian culture and Northwest Coast design in his hometown of Metlakatla, Alaska, as well as in Anchorage, Juneau and Seattle. David Robert is not only respected for his amazing artistic abilities but also for being one of the most prominent Native leaders of his generation.
The quality of David Robert’s two-dimensional design style is unmatched for his age and his concepts in wood are innovatively drawn from tradition. David Robert started selling his artwork in galleries in 1994, and had his first solo show at Quintana Galleries in 2006. David Robert has carved totem poles for both private sale and traditional purposes.
Since June 2000, David Robert has carved 15 totem poles. Twelve of them with his father and in 2005 carved his first solo totem pole for a private residence in Arch Cape, Oregon.
For the 2003-2004 school year, David Robert took time off from his carving to teach Tsimshian history and culture for Metlakatla High School. Passing on his culture to the children of Metlakatla will help insure the future of Tsimshian people for generations to come.
David Robert is now living in Kingston, WA, carving full-time and performing with his dance group, the Git-Hoan Dancers.
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