Land, Sea and Sky Pole
carved red cedar, circa 2014
150 x 36 in 381 x 91.4 cm
Commissioned directly from the Artist by the present Private Collection, Toronto
The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands Estate, Rancho Mirage, Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration, September 11, 2019 - June 7, 2020
Stan Hunt is one of Canada’s most renowned Northwest Coast artists, and produces totem poles, masks and graphic paintings in the artistic tradition of his Kwakiutl (Kwakwa_ka_'wakw) ancestry. Hunt’s studio is in Fort Rupert on the northern coast of Vancouver Island.
Born in 1954 in Victoria into a family with a proud artistic legacy, Stan is the youngest son of carver Henry Hunt and grandson of Chief Mungo Martin. His father and grandfather both held the role of master carver at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, and his brothers Tony and Richard Hunt are both recognized as leading Kwakiutl artists.
Stan was introduced to the art of carving by his father Henry Hunt, who advised him that, “The first thing you have to do is make your own tools.” Hunt’s works are crafted from local materials and carved solely with traditional tools – the adze, curved knife and straight knife. Stan’s craft manifests the spirit of Chief Martin, who was a central figure in the preservation of Kwakiutl spiritual and cultural traditions in the first half of the twentieth century. Stan creates his works in accordance with traditional customs and symbolism, ensuring that the Kwakiutl community retains ownership of family crests and heritage. Family crests, for instance, are only allowed to be carved by members of that designated lineage.
Hunt takes great pride in preserving tradition, and his authentic craftsmanship continues and contributes to the oral and visual ethos of the Kwakiutl. His work manifests a West Coast psyche, one that is grounded in the spirit of community.
Regarding this finely-carved, complex pole, Hunt commented:
I’d like to say I painted this with my knife. There’s nowhere to hide when a piece is hand-carved…You can see every stroke. At the top of the pole rests an eagle, which is a huge crest for our family, followed by a wolf who holds a Hawk-Man Sun who stands on a killer whale. Back in the old days, I carved killer whales to represent my wife Lavina’s family. Her dad’s crest was a killer whale.
 Interview with Stan Hunt, 2022.
 Anne Rowe, Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration, The Annenberg Foundation Trust, 2019, 42.
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Price: $80,000 CAD
Available for viewing at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave
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