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Carving by Richard Baker Sr.
Carving by
Richard Baker Sr.

Artist Peter Smith - Giq-Kalas
Peter Smith - Giq-Kalas
"Son Of Great Importance"
Artist: Peter Walter Smith - Giq-Kalas
Tribal affiliation: Kwakwaka’wakw
Birthplace: Vancouver, B.C.
Birth date: April 22 1972

Peter Smith is a Kwakwaka’wakw carver that has been working in the wood mediums since 1995. Peter has studied under the watchful eyes of master carver Simon Dick, developing a style of his own in the traditional and contemporary way of his people. Giq-Kalas is translated ”Son of Great Importance.” He grew up learning the cultural traditions and meanings behind the masks as well as the songs that go with them.

Peter has been a traditional singer and dancer for several years - in fact since the age of four. Although focusing on the traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, Peter has also been influenced by the silver jewellery art work. Sonia Triebwasser a well-known silver-smith, taught Peter this art form of jewellery.

Peter has been involved in several events in his career:

  • Young Bloods art show at the Douglas Reynolds Gallery October 1998

  • Down From The Shimmering Sky at: Vancouver Art Gallery 1998

  • Toronto, McMichael Art Gallery 1998 -1999

  • Portland, Oregon - Portland Art Museum 1999

  • Los Angeles - Southwest Museum 2000

  • Seattle, Wash. - Stonington Gallery / Coghlan Art Collection 2000

  • Nawalakw (The Supernatural World) art show in April-July 1999 at the Quintana Gallery - Portland, Oregon

  • Tlakuagila (Copper-Maker) art show: December 2-30 2000 at Quintana Gallery - Portland, Oregon

  • Spirit Transform art show Nov. 24 - Dec. 15, 2001 at the Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery - Vancouver

    These are just a few of the art shows that Peter has been involved with in the past couple of years.

    Peter’s future plans are to travel and share with the world that we as First Nation people are continuing and practicing our culture. Peter Smith can be reached by email at

    Sea Eagle Transformation Mask

    "Hello there everyone. I just wanted to show everyone what I have been up to as of late. This is a Sea Eagle Transformation mask that transforms into an human mask. It is about 19" in length, 36" wide, and 24" in height when open. I would like to get peoples feedback on what they think of my mask. I can be commissioned to carve. Thank you for your time everyone."

    Peter Smith

    A mask like this can be commissioned by the artist.
  • Carvings by Peter Smith.
    Click on the thumbnail to view the larger images.

    Carvings by Pete Smith

    Sea Eagle Transformation Mask Closed
    Closed, this mask shows the head of an eagle.

    Sea Eagle Transformation Mask Open
    Opened, the transformation mask reveals a human face. It took many hours of patient work to create this beautiful mask.