Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw art is renowned for its flamboyant, energetic, and colourful carving and painting. Among the leading practitioners was Doug Cranmer (1927-2006), whose style was understated, elegant, and fresh, and whose work quickly found an international following in the 1960s. He was an early player in the global commercial art market, and one of the first Native artists in British Columbia to own his own gallery. A long-time teacher, he inspired generations of young Native artists in Alert Bay, BC, and across the province.
Kesu’: The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer honours a man who embodied ‘indigenous modern’ before the term was invented, but preferred the descriptor ‘whittler’ or ‘doodler’ to ‘Kwakwaka’wakw artist.’ Accompanied by a full-color catalogue by curator Dr. Jennifer Kramer, published by Douglas & McIntyre, this unique exhibition captures the artist’s personality, his paradoxes, his range of work, and his profound influence on generations of Northwest Coast artists. Exhibition supported by Department of Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program, and proceeds from the Doug Cranmer Memorial Fundraiser, 2007. Media sponsor The Georgia Straight.