The son of Hereditary Chief George Hunt and Mary Hunt, Tom D. Hunt is a member of the Kwakiutl, or Kwakwaka’wakw Nation who was born in Victoria in 1964. Tom began apprenticing in Kwakiutl art with his father at the age of twelve and later worked with his brother, George Hunt Jr. When entering his teenage years, Tom spent several summers in Campbell River working with his maternal grandfather, the late Sam Henderson. During that stage of his artistic development, Tom learned the traditional form of the Nakwaxda’xw Nation (Blunden Harbour).
With family ties in Campbell River and Fort Rupert, Tom’s strengths are like a cedar thread woven through his creations. His knowledge of the Kwakiutl history is illustrated in Tom’s artwork. Tom’s family is deeply involved in the potlatch system and many of Tom’s masks have been presented at these potlatches.
In 1983 he moved to his home village of Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), which is on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. There he worked as an assistant to his uncle, Calvin Hunt, owner and operator of Copper Maker Gallery. This apprenticeship was an important period in Tom’s development as a versatile and accomplished artist. He moves comfortably from massive wood sculptures to the very small, intricate pieces that are in demand. Tom has also been an assistant carver to Susan Point on several of her large sculptures.
Tom has art works in collections worldwide. He continues to produce pieces from his home in Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), where he lives with his daughter.