Gary is an artist with creative talents that have several outlets, not just carving. He began as a child-- he’d collect shells along the beach in Alert Bay, paint them, and then sell them to tourists who came off the small cruise ships. His family members are the famous carvers—Doug Cranmer, Bruce Alfred, and Beau Dick. He learned from them at an early age and began carving masks, panels, and plaques. An artist who is willing to take risks and attempt the near impossible, Gary is comfortable working in contemporary styles as well as traditional.
The Kwakwaka'wakw (Namgis) continue their traditions on Alert Bay, holding strong to the ways of the people. Gary is certainly a part of that and fully identifies with his heritage. However, he also has a powerful desire to learn more, experience more, and this has lead him to places such as Los Angeles where he spent two years in the music industry, cutting his own CD after signing a record contract.
A family man now with young children, he lives in Alert Bay, where bald eagles are plentiful and known to come visit his front lawn for salmon scraps after he’s filleted and cooked this traditional food for friends and family. During this family time, preparing such foods, he seems to finally quiet his incredibly active mind and just watch and do, perhaps drawing yet more inspiration from the idyllic activities of the island world around him.