David Boxley has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to the revitalization and rebirth of Tsimshian arts and culture. He is an accomplished master artist who focuses primarily on traditional design and carving of totem poles, bentwood boxes, rattles, performance masks and other items of his ancestors.
He has also helped form four successful dance groups in Seattle and Metlakatla, showcasing the traditions of storytelling with song and dance, all featuring elaborately carved masks, rattles, box drums and other performance items.
“It was through totem poles that my people recorded the great things that had happened to our people and our leaders," says Boxley. "It was with design and intricately carved alder or cedar that our stories were saved and shared with pride in song and dance.”
According to John Aumann who nominated him, Boxley is dedicated to the revitalization and rebirth of Tsimshian arts and culture.
“Nearly everyone knows what a great artist he is, but many don’t realize all the other things that David does to promote his culture. He uses his knowledge of Tsimshian past traditions to breathe life into each piece of art. Many people, art collectors, gallery owners and museum personnel have come to David to have him explain or analyze his tribe’s ancestral art. He is also trying to preserve his language by leading the Git-Hoan dancers and by conducting language classes.”