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Wilfred (Wilf) Sampson was born in Hazelton, BC, in 1957 and is one of the Gitxsan tribe. Wilf has designed and carved Northwest Coast Indian Art since 1981. He initially taught himself by looking through books and observing the works of other artists.
Motivated by the beauty of art, as well as the sense of accomplishment, Wilf completed the beginners and advanced carving and design courses at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Art and Design in Hazelton, BC, in 1984. While at the school, Wilf honed his talents and skills under Master Artists Walter Harris, Earl Muldoe, Ken Mowatt and Vernon Stevens. Wilf obtained additional inspiration and guidance from realist artist and Native art enthusiast Ron Burleigh.
Wilf Sampson takes great pride in continuing the traditions of Northwest Coast Indian art exemplified in his carvings and paintings. All of his works are original designs, many of which invoke contemporary as well as traditional designs and motifs. He specializes in totem poles, carved and painted, decorative masks, as well as original-design paintings, but is just as proficient in other carvings and designs that are much admired. Many of his works are in private collections and galleries in several countries of Europe and in Japan as well as Canada and the United States.
Among Wilf's special commissions is a wolf mask with abalone inlay that found a home at the Glenbow Museum and was part of the Calgary Winter Olympics Exhibition. An eight-foot totem pole was commissioned by the Houston, BC Museum, and four other eight-foot totem poles are in private collections. Wilf also designed the logo for the Canadian Mental Health Association's 1990 National Conference. Praise for his design was so overwhelming that it was later produced in a 250 piece limited edition print and reproduced on clothing. Wilf has designed several corporate logos recently.
Wilf plans to pursue his career as an artist by continuing to carve, paint, and design for both galleries and private collections alike.