Small Komokwa Mask by Stephen Bruce, Kwakwaka’wakw
Small Komokwa Mask, 1990 by Stephen Bruce, Kwakwaka’wakw red cedar, pigment, mask 9” high x 11” wide x 5” deep
Stephen Bruce is of the Namgis First Nation and was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia. He began carving at the age of 18. He learned by observing the prominent artists in his community such as Wayne Alfred, Ned Matilpi, and Beau Dick. He is now considered one of the Northwest Coast's most talented and versatile carvers, creating everything from rattles to thirty-foot totem poles.
He has been commissioned for many monumental permanent exhibits, such as the eighteen-foot totem pole for the Mitsui Corporation in Tokyo. For the Dolfinarium Theme Park in Harderwijk, Holland, he was the head carver for the creation of several totem poles and three house fronts that now stand at their recreation of a Kwakwakawakw village. He carved a ten-foot totem pole for the Nagmis First Nation that now stands in the Alert Bay Cemetery beside many other totems, produced by other highly prominent carvers. He was one of eight carvers selected to create the new ceremonial big house at Alert Bay. He is currently working on a new permanent exhibit for the international wing of the Vancouver Airport. Stephen's pieces are sought-after by many international collectors of Northwest Coast Native artwork.