Arthur Shaughnessy, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist, was born in Alert Bay, BC, in 1957. Arthur comes from a long line of well-known carvers and artist. At a young age Arthur was inspired by his father, who was a carver, to become a carver as well. In the mid-70's Arthur enrolled in a carving school where he was taught by master carver Doug Cranmer, who was very instrumental in teaching Arthur the elements of designing. Since he was a small child, he had been taught about his cultures ways and practices.
Arthur’s grandfather, Arthur Shaughnessy, was a hereditary Chief of Kingcome Inlet and a very well-known artist in his day.
In 1978/79, Arthur joined the RCMP as a First Nation member. He served for 35 years, mainly on Vancouver Island. His tour of duties included; The Marine Section, First Nation policing Alert Bay, with tours in Port Alberni, Campbell River, and his last Posting Port Hardy general duty and First Nation policing. During that time Arthur continued with his art and carving. He used his art as therapy to get away from the stress of his job. Arthur created many carvings, which he often gifted to close friends. His work has been sold to private collectors around the world. Arthur is starting to focus on his carvings and original paints again since retiring from the RCMP.
In 1998, Arthur volunteered in helping paint and assist with the rebuilding of the long house beams with Doug Cranmer and several other carvers. These posts and beams were to replace the original ones that had been lost in a fire. Arthur was very honoured to work alongside family, and sense the pride they felt while rebuilding the longhouse poles.
Arthur says look forward to seeing more of his art soon.