Richard Hunt

Eagle Figure, 2020

red cedar, iridescent paint

9 × 25 in

 25 x
 x 8


 63.5 x
 x 20.32



plus shipping & taxes

About the work

Carved of red cedar, this three-dimensional eagle dominates the vertical space, with its intricate eyes, beak, and talons immediately recognizable despite—or perhaps because of—the artist’s choice to leave the whole of the raptor unpainted. This choice allows the natural medium to shine through, and the bold patterns of the wood grain highlight each feather and the curve of every claw, echoed in the smooth arch of the head and beak. The stoic bird is perched upon a mountain of iridescent black, surrounded by skulls that gaze out in the four cardinal directions. A tribute to the people of Kwaguilth and Mayan ancestry, this piece features a juxtaposition of natural wood and dark paint that strikes a memorable and imposing figure.

The artist writes:

“A while ago, I had my DNA checked and it came back that I was 1% Mayan. This excited me because I have always been interested and intrigued by the Mayan culture. I was thinking of this as I was carving this Eagle. The Eagle is standing on a mountain, and I decided to put skulls on the side of the mountain and paint them black. The skulls are looking North, South, East and West. I carved the skulls in honour of my Mayan friends. The Eagle is the main crest of the Kwaguilth people from Fort Rupert, B.C. I wanted to carve more feathers than design and I really liked the grain of the wood so I didn’t want to paint it.”

Medium Sculpture
Signature Signed
Frame Unframed
Condition Excellent
Seller Artist
Location Victoria, Canada
Provenance Artist

Richard Hunt


Richard Hunt was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia in 1951. Hunt is Kwakiutl and is from T’sakis (Fort Rupert, BC). His Kwakwala name is highly appropriate, considering his accomplishments. Gwe-la-yo-gwe-la-gya-lis means “A man that travels and wherever he goes, he potlatches.” Through his art, his speaking and his dancing, Hunt has indeed given much to the world.

Hunt comes from a family of internationally respected artists, which include his father, the late Henry Hunt, his grandfather, Mungo Martin, and his brothers and cousins.  He has lived most of his life in Victoria.  He began carving with his father at the age of thirteen.

In 1973, Hunt began work at the Royal British Columbia Museum as an apprentice carver under his father.  The following year, he assumed the duties of chief carver in the Thunderbird Park Carving Program.  Hunt continued in this role for twelve years.  In 1986, he resigned to begin a new career as a freelance artist.

In 1991, Hunt received the Order of British Columbia “…In recognition of serving with the greatest distinction and excellence in a field of endeavor benefiting the people of the Province of British Columbia and elsewhere.”  This prominent award program was established in 1990.  Hunt is the first Native artist to be so recognized. In 1994, he received the most prestigious award of his career, the Order of Canada.  In 2002, he received the Golden Jubilee Medal, presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country”.

In May 2004, Hunt was accepted into the membership of the Royal Academy of the Arts in recognition of his outstanding achievements within the visual arts. In June 2004, he received an Honourary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria.  This prestigious award has a special meaning to Hunt, because his late father was awarded the same degree in 1983.

In October 2009, Hunt received the BC Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art, and, in March 2012, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which is presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country”.


Additional Achievements and Recognitions:

May 2014 – Hunt was inducted into Victoria High School’s “Wall of Fame”.

April 2015 – the Victoria TC 10K road race choose Hunt’s design, “Dancing Heron” as their race logo.

March 2015 – the Royal Canadian Mint released a third coin with a Hunt design.  The first, “the Welcoming”, was followed by “Two Loons” and, recently, “Mother Feeding Baby”.

May 2016 – Harbour Air Seaplane Terminal unveiled Hunt’s artwork, “The Family”.

November 2018 – BC Ferries unveiled Hunt’s “Sea Wolf” which will adorn the ferry that sails from Port Hardy to Bella Bella.

March 2022 – Hunt finished a large mural for a private collector, which is now hanging in a brand-new building in downtown Victoria, B.C.




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