Seattle Art Fair
July 21 – July 24, 2022
Lumen Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
Fazakas Gallery is pleased to present a special exhibition of Atlakim masks by Alan Hunt, Cole Speck, and Aubrey Johnston Jr. at the 2022 iteration of the Seattle Art Fair.
In 2014, Alan Hunt joined Beau Dick’ s long time apprentice Cole Speck to learn under the master carver, a relationship that lasted until Dick’s death in 2017. Most recently, Hunt was part of the group of apprentices who worked closely with Dick during his Artist-in-Residency at the UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in his studio in the Audain Art Centre. It was there that Hunt and Speck assisted Dick in the completion of his exhibition for Documenta 14 (2017), which took place in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany. Like Beau Dick, Alan Hunt dedicates his practice to the promotion of Kwakwaka’wakw culture.
The Atłak’ima (Atłak’im), known also as the Dance of the Forest Spirits, is one of the four main dances performed during Kwakwaka’wakw Winter Ceremonials; it tells the story of a boy who gets lost in the woods and is visited by many guiding spirits who teach him virtues.
On February 25, 2020, a version of the Atlakim ceremony was danced on the European continent for the first time. Hereditary Chief Alan Hunt and 12 other members of the community traveled from Alert Bay, BC to Scotland to perform the dance, which came from Chief William Hawkins’ Box of Treasures, at the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with “Pine’s Eye”, an international group exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery. This iteration of the dance featured 15 new masks carved by Alan Hunt, Cole Speck, and Aubrey Johnston Jr., which are being presented at the Seattle Art Fair this summer.
Thursday, July 21st, 6 PM – 9 PM
Public Fair Days
Friday, July 22nd, 12 PM – 8 PM
Saturday, July 23rd, 11 AM – 7 PM
Sunday, July 24th, 11 AM – 6 PM
Stills from the Atlakim ‘Dance of the Forest Spirits’ ceremony, St Cecilia’s Hall, 2020. Images courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh.
Alan Hunt (b. 1988) is of Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit ancestry and currently resides in Alert Bay, BC. Hunt received his chieftainship from his grandfather, Chief Alfred (Hutch) Hunt, in 2015. Hunt has also enjoyed the honour of being mentored by renowned carvers Wayne Alfred, Marcus Alfred, and Bruce Alfred. In 2013, Hunt began an apprenticeship under master carver Beau Dick, which lasted until his death in 2017. Hunt worked closely with Beau Dick during Dick’s Artist-in-Residency at the UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in his studio in the Audain Art Centre. It was there that Hunt assisted Dick in the creation of his exhibition for Documenta 14 (2017), which took place in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany. In 2020, Hunt and 12 other members of the Alert Bay community traveled to Scotland to perform the Atlakim ceremony at the University of Edinburgh in conjunction with Pine’s Eye, an international group exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery.
Cole Speck (b. 1991) was raised on the Namgis reserve on Alert Bay, BC. Speck comes from a strong cultural and artistic heritage. His great grandfather was the late Chief John Speck of the Tlowitsis, father of the late Henry Speck Sr. Cole is also the great grandson of the late Harry Hanuse of Mamalalaka. As an apprentice of the late master carver Beau Dick, Speck continues to promote Kwakwaka’wakw culture through his practice and the knowledge gained from his mentor. In 2010/11, Speck assisted in the making of the Pat Alfred Memorial pole, and in 2012, he was selected by Rande Cook to apprentice on a totem pole that was later installed in Holland as part of a Northwest Coast exhibit. He participated in “RezErect” at the Bill Reid Gallery in 2013, and in 2014 he took part in “Claiming Space” at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. In 2017, Speck performed and contextualized works on behalf of Beau Dick at Documenta 14. His works were exhibited at the Aspen Art Museum in 2020 for Winterfest: An Exhibition of Arts and Crafts. In 2022 his work was included in the 6th edition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA) in Montreal, QC.
Aubrey Johnston Jr. was born in Alert Bay, BC and is from the Haida, ’Namgis, and Ma’amtagila Nations. He is a descendant of the Alfred, Wadhams, Wallace, and Simeon families and can trace his ancestry to the Haida through his paternal great-grandmother. Johnston was mentored by many master carvers over the years, including his father, Aubrey Johnston Sr., Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, and Morris Johnny. He has been carving since 2009 and assisted in the creation of the Guardian Poles for the U’mista Cultural Centre, as well as several of the Awak’wis for the ’Namgis First Nation.