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Chuck (YaYa) Heit
Born 1957, Kispiox, BC
In 1970, Chuck Heit was introduced to the art of carving wood by his uncle, Chief Walter Harris. Shortly thereafter, he was accepted at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art and Design. By the young age of eighteen, Heit had gone from student to teacher. While teaching, he remained apprenticed to his uncle, working on large commissions; 30- 45 foot poles, panels and house posts.
In 1986, Heit and his mother were commissioned to create a Button Blanket, which was displayed at Expo ’86. Two years later, Heit and five other carvers were commissioned to carve the posts and beams for a longhouse on the nearby Kitwanga Reserve. Soon after, at the Vancouver Art Gallery Exhibition, titled Topographies, Heit’s Chief’s Chair was one of the most outstanding works. More recently, his work has been featured in exhibitions by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the American Federation of Arts in New York.