Richard Hunt is a Kwakwaka’wakw artist born in 1951 in Alert Bay, but has lived most of his life in Victoria. He comes from a family of internationally renowned carvers, including his father Henry Hunt and his grandfather Mungo Martin. Richard’s brothers, Tony Hunt and Stanley Hunt, are also carvers.
Richard began carving at the age of 13 with his father. In 1973 Richard began working as an apprentice carver to his father at the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the following year Richard assumed the duties of Chief carver in the Thunderbird Park Carving Program.
In 1986, Richard Hunt launched a new career as a freelance artist. His accomplishments as an artist have gathered him much renown.
In 1991, Richard became the first Native artist to receive the Order of British Columbia. In 1994, he received the Order of Canada, the most prestigious award of his Native art career.
In 2002, Richard Hunt was the recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal. Created in 2002, it is presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country.”
In May 2004, Richard was recognized for his outstanding artistic achievements in the visual arts by the Royal Academy of the Arts. He was conferred with the privileged of membership, including the right to use “RCA” after his name. A couple of months later, Richard received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. This prestigious award carries special meaning for Richard, as his late father, Henry Hunt was awarded the same degree in 1983.
In October 2009, Richard received another illustrious accolade for his Native art: the BC Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art.
In March 2012, Richard received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country.”