Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw)


Rande Cook with Idle No More

Rande Cook in his studio with Idle No More.

Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw) a multimedia artist who was born in culture-rich Alert Bay surrounded by the beauty of land and art. He found the passion of artistic creativity at an early age. With the strong teachings of his grandparents Cook learned the values of life and culture that prepared him for his Chieftainship.

Traveling the world has given this small-town boy a broader perspective and, coupled with his strong roots, bolstered his desire artistically to push the boundaries of traditional works — as evidenced recently during the popular exhibition, Ravens in a Material World, at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

While growing up, Cook observed and discussed the traditional art forms of his Kwakwaka’wakw forefathers with his grandfather. He was especially drawn to the ceremonial masks and art of the potlatch. With the strong teachings from his grandparents about culture and the sacred ceremonies of the Potlatch world Cook became an accomplished singer and dancer in these ceremonies.

Rande is a strong leader for his people and carries two chieftainships, the Hamatam/Seagull and  Gigalgam from the ancient ancestor Kwanusila/Thunderbird. This story can be seen on the 27′ totem pole he was commissioned to carve for the Museum Volkenkunde in the Netherlands in 2012.

In 1991, Cook moved from his tiny island life to Victoria to attend high school. There and throughout college he was exposed to a wider range of art-forms and practices. His natural curiosity and desire to be creative lead Cook to take as many classes and read as many books as possible about Western Art History. This coupled with the artistic nurturing provided to him by master carver John Livingston lead Cook to a unique perspective of the art he creates. He continually pushes the boundaries by using his accumulation of knowledge, heritage and experiences to create provocative and beautiful works that challenge the viewer to think.

Special Commissions

  • 2014 – “Shaman Pole” private commission
  • 2012 – “Quench” 8 ft. totem water fountain for the city of Duncans’ 100 year centennial
  • 2012 – 26 ft. totem pole commission for the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 2009 – First Peoples House at UVIC; House Post panels
  • 2006-07 – Private commission 28′ totem, multiple interior installations including two 8′ x 8′ carved sliding doors.
  • 2012 – Rande Cook collaborated with film maker Broderick Fox for his film “The Skin I’m In” at the Victoria Film Festival.


  • 2016 – Divergent Convergence – Group exhibition, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2015 – “Behind the Gold Veil” Solo Exhibition. Campbell River Art Gallery, Campbell River, BC
  • 2014 – “Art Toronto | International Art Fair” Group Exhibition. Toronto, ON
  • 2014 – “White Before Labour Day” Group Exhibition. Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2014 – “Inappropriate” Group exhibition. Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2013 – “Urban Thunderbirds/ Ravens in a material world” Group exhibition. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC
  • 2012 – Solo Exhibition in Collaboration with “The Skin I’m In” at Victoria Film Fest. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2012 – ” The Spirit Within”, Solo exhibition. Steinbrueck Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • 2011 – “Continued Explorations of the Form line” Solo exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2011 – “Convergence/ Divergence – Landscape and Identity on the West Coast” Solo exhibition. The Legacy Gallery, University of Victoria, BC
  • 2010 – “Innovative visions of the Form Line” Solo exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2010 – “Giving Traditions”  Group exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2009 –  Group exhibition, Steinbrueck Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • 2008 – “Inspired Reflections” Group exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2007 – “Gathered Treasures” Group exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2007 – Group exhibition, Douglas Reynolds Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2007 – Friday Harbour, Solo exhibition. Arctic Raven Gallery
  • 2006 – Opening/ Exhibit, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.
  • 2006 – Vancouver Group Exhibition. Douglas Reynolds Gallery, Vancouver, BC
  • 2004 – Canada Council Art Bank, Washington D.C.
  • 2004 – “Story Tellers” Group exhibition. Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC
  • 2003 – Group exhibition. Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
  • 2002 – “Tribal Miniatures X”, Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC


  • 1995 – Graduated from Victoria High School with the Henry Hunt and Mungo Martin Art Award.
  • 2012 – City of Duncan Perpetual Art Award for Quench

Apprenticeships/Educational Exchanges

  • 2010 – Studied Repousse and Chasing in Italy and New York
  • 2007 – Studied Under Robert Davidson, Repousse and Engraving
  • 2005 – Studied Traditional Box Bending with Bruce Alfred
  • 2000/2006 – Apprenticed under Master carver John Livingston, Art Thompson
  • 2001 – New Zealand Art Exchange, Canoe carving
  • 1997/2000 – Apprenticed under, William Cook for Silversmith and Engraving