Alvin Mack was born in Bella Coola, British Columbia. He is the last son of renowned carver William Mack. Inspired by his father, he began to experiment with carving yellow cedar at the age of 13. Even in his youth, Alvin was successful in producing quality monumental totem poles, and ceremonial items containing traditional Nuxalk art forms.
Wanting to learn more and take his art more seriously, Alvin enrolled in ‘Ksan School of Northwest Coast Art, whom 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 “art project.” During this time, he also taught himself to engrave in gold and silver jewellery. His works has been shown all over the world.
Traditionally, the culture of the Nuxalk was passed on through their art, but had been through what they call a “Sleeping Period” after the epidemics of disease and clashes with the new world. Now in a period “The Reawakening”, the Nuxalk people are bringing back the arts and customs of their culture for future generations. Alvin has been a leading force in the revival of the visual arts in his community, teaching in Acwsalcta School, he has viewed his employment as “paying back to the community.”
Alvin is highly regarded in the Nuxalk community, and enjoys a prestigious place in the modern society of today. He has pursued his design and fabrication of jewellery, recently graduating from a two-year program at the Vancouver Community College because he feels that it is important to broaden his education not only for himself but for the experience and knowledge he can share with others. Alvin creates outstanding works in several mediums, and has led many major projects in the community that you can witness in the beautiful valley of Bella Coola, B.C.
Artist Statement, 2009
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