Barry Scow was born in 1964 in the village of Alert Bay, British Columbia, an area located of the northern tip of Vancouver Island known for its long-standing tradition of producing and nurturing powerful carvers. His grandfather was a Chief and as a result of this, Barry Scow grew up with a strong sense of his cultural heritage. His uncle was the first native person to graduate from UBC School of Law. He became a partner in a successful law firm and later became a BC Provincial Court Judge. He significantly influenced Barry, intending to adopt Barry as a child.
During Barry’s early years as an artist, he was often hired to repair totem poles. This allowed him to learn from many different artists and become familiar with the carving styles of different nations of the Northwest Coast. For two years after the 1987 Expo, Barry Scow formally apprenticed under the late Joe Peters Junior. He then studied under Wayne Alfred and Beau Dick, one of the most prominent carvers on the Northwest Coast. In 1992 Barry, Wayne, and Beau worked together to carve a 40-foot totem pole that stands in Stanley Park today.
Exhibiting great determination to become an accomplished carver, Scow has emerged as an important talent and is now carving powerful and finely crafted masks. Currently, he is the only artist focusing solely on transformation and other types of articulated masks – a skill he started developing in his youth when he was a puppet master, carving animated puppets.
Scow has exhibited the discipline and determination to become one of the Northwest Coast’s prominent Kwakwaka’wakw artists. Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to present the work of this outstanding artist.