Born 1948, Telegraph Creek, BC
Dempsey Bob is a Tahltan Tlingit artist, born at Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River, and is a member of the Wolf clan. He began carving about 1970, first studying with Freda Diesing at Prince Rupert and later, in 1972 and 1974 at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art and Design.
Although he works in silver and gold, his preferred medium continues to be wood and more recently, bronze. Bob's pieces are executed with a deft and sure hand, smoothly integrating sculpture and two-dimensional design as they trace the artist's exploration of the old Tlingit style. On his much sought-after bronze work Bob has this to say: "Bronze has a different feel to it. It's new, and it's a challenge to make it good. Our people were great sculptors. They knew as much about sculpture as any other great cultures in the world. The great old northwest coast pieces in wood would make great bronze sculptures today. Tlingit people made copper masks, frontlets, jewelry and rattles, and bronze in 90% copper"
Beyond his role as a renowned artist, Dempsey Bob has played an important part in inspiring the next generation of Northwest Coast artists. He is the senior advisor at the Northwest Community College (NWCC) Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.