Homegrown Business: Calvin Hunt of The Copper Maker Gallery

The Copper Maker Gallery produces and sells Northwest Coast artworks. Major museums, corporations, municipalities, and private collectors are clients of their work, which ranges from small portrait-masks to totem poles and canoes. It is owned and operated by Kwagu’ł artist Calvin Hunt and his wife Marie. We spoke with him to find out more about what they do.

The Copper Maker Gallery

What is your business called and what does it do?

Our business is called The Copper Maker Gallery. This is also our studio where we sell Northwest Coast art, and where I create and carve.

What made me want to do this work?

It is a living breathing culture and becoming an artist has given me an opportunity to add to our private collection for our potlatch ceremonies; it is also a way of giving back so I am able to help other families with traditional masks and regalia.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Clientele are art galleries, museums, corporations, municipalities, tourists, and collectors.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

What range of work have you done in your career? I have done a wide range of art throughout my career and I continue to do so. For instance, totem poles of all sizes and diameters as seen on my website, 22’, 32, and 40 red cedar traditions canoes, full dance costumes, masks from portrait to large complex four-way transformation masks, rattles, drums, totem pole replication, prints, jewelry, and stonework.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of my work is supporting our family and carving cultural pieces for our ceremonies. The worst is the lack of red cedar which is due to clear-cutting. Canada just celebrated 150 years, and it took Canada that long to decimate our environment and create devastating climate change. Whereas for centuries, our people have managed the water, land, and sky sustainably.

The Copper Maker Gallery

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

My favourite joke about my profession is – What kind of paint do you use? In the ‘50s Bapco did come out with a paint called totem pole paint, so, the answer we use is totem pole paint.

Where can we follow you?

You can find my art on my website, and follow me on Facebook.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

A local artist that I recommend is Jason Hunt or Coreen Hunt.



About Demian Vernieri 507 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.