Reuben Mack – Nuxalk (1994 – )
Reuben Mack was born 1994 in Vancouver, B.C. He spent most of his childhood in Bella Coola, B.C. He was born into a strong family legacy of Nuxalk Artists, stretching back generations. His father, renowned artisan Alvin Mack, was one of his biggest influences growing up. At a young age he learned how to carve, paint, and design in the traditional Nuxalk art form. Being surrounded by a long line of family carvers, he was inspired to carry on this tradition.
Reuben also drew early inspiration from potlatch culture and the Nuxalk Kusiut Society’s dances. Watching the mask dancers was mesmerizing to him, and he truly felt the Spirit of Dance in the ceremonies. This inspiration continues to be a vital aspect of his artistic work.
In 2013 he moved to Terrace, BC and was accepted to the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. Working alongside instructors Dempsey Bob, Dean Heron, Stan Bevan, and Ken McNeil, he learned to create masks, bowls, spoons, paddles, and plaques. This is where he became an avid painter, sculptor, and design specialist. After completing the program Reuben moved back home to learn more about Nuxalk design and to sharpen his knowledge of the rich history of the Bella Coola people.
Reuben has had numerous shows at the Terrace Art Gallery. In 2013 he exhibited his work at the Concourse Gallery at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He was also included in the Northern Exposure exhibit in 2014 at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery. In 2014 & 2018, he assisted his father, brothers and family to raise two totem poles in the Bella Coola Valley. Reuben continues to push his own limits and hopes that one day he can pass down the knowledge of his ancestors to future generations.
“I feel like I was born to carry on these ancient traditions. I hope to master my own classic style of Nuxalk art one day. I love learning about my culture and the stories of our ancestors.”