David Neel is a Northwest Coast Indian artist and jeweler with 30 years of professional experience. He works with gold, silver, platinum and precious stones to create pieces that reflect the rich cultural heritage of his people, the Kwakiutl first nation of Vancouver Island, Canada.

A hereditary Native artist, he follows in the footsteps of his family, who are some of the leading figures in Northwest coast Native art: including Dave Neel Senior, his father; Ellen Neel, his grandmother; Mungo Martin, his great-great uncle; and Charlie James, his great-great-great grandfather.

David began his career in the traditional way, by apprenticing with carvers from his fathers village of Alert Bay. He has since established a personal style that incorporates the legends and teachings of his people with a contemporary artistic vision. Starting with raw gold, platinum and silver, he skillfully transforms the stories of his ancestors into unique and powerful pieces of jewelry.

Throughout his career he has worked in a number of media, including: woodcarving, photography, painting and printmaking and he is the author of two books on Native culture. David has had dozens of exhibitions in museums and art galleries, and is represented in numerous public collections.


Jewelry design has a special significance for David because of the limitless creative possibilities when working in gold and silver. He also enjoys the meaning that his clients attach to the work; using them to mark important events in their lives; birth, death, relationships, or healing from a chronic illness. Over the years his clients have shared many stories about the symbolism they assign to his pieces, and this is what he finds most fulfilling.  



2010 2005 2004 2003 2000 1999 1998 1993-95

"A Portrait of the Mashantucket Pequot"
"The Ten Commandments"
"Living Legends"
"Echoes of the Ancestors"
"David Neel - Living Traditions"
"Walas-Kwis-Gila" (Travels Great Distances)
"David Neel - Living Traditions"
"Photographs of Native Leaders and Related Works"

Mashantucket Pequot Museum,
Grunt Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Indian Art Centre, Hull, Quebec
North Vancouver Arts Space
Art Gallery of Peterborough
Venice Biennale - Venice, Italy
Kamloops Art Gallery
Canadian Museum of Contemporary
Photography - National Gallery, Ottawa, ON,
Prince George Art Gallery, Prince George, BC
Espace Hortense, St. Camille, QU
Campbell River Museum, Campbell River, BC

1997 1997 1997 1996 1995 1993 1992 1992 1991 1991 1991-95

"Prints by David Neel"
"Photographs of Native Leaders and Related Works"
"Traditions & Innovations: Masks by David Neel"
"Spirit of the Earth"
"Spirit of the Earth"
"Spirit of the Earth"
"Heroes and Legends"
"Beyond Boundaries"
"To Speak for Ourselves: Portraits of Chiefs & Elders"
"Our Chiefs and Elders"

Courtenay District Museum, Courtenay, BC
Terrace Art Gallery, Terrace, BC
Quintana Gallery, Portland OR
Yukon Art Centre, Whitehorse, YT
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON
Vancouver Museum, Vancouver, BC
Gallery 1450, Victoria, BC
Ufundi Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Gallery 1450, Victoria, BC
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Burke Museum, Seattle, WA
Vernon Museum, Vernon, BC
Kamloops Museum, Kamloops, BC
Native Heritage Centre, Duncan, BC
Langley Museum, Langley, BC
Richmond Museum, Richmond, BC
Delta Museum, Delta, BC
Courtenay District Museum, Courtenay, BC
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
Skidegate Museum, Queen Charlotte City, BC
Kwagiutl Museum, Cape Mudge, BC
Calgary Performing Arts Centre, Calgary, AB
San Francisco Camera Work, San Francisco, CA

1990-91 1986 1985 1985

"Our Chiefs and Elders"

"Deep Ellum Artists Series"
"State/Thomas Freedman's Town"
"State Thomas/Freedman's Town"

UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BC
Allen Street Gallery, Dallas, TX
LTV Center, Dallas, TX
Still Light Gallery, Dallas, TX


2017 2016 2015 2015 2015 2014 2013 2013 2011 2011

2009 2006 2006

"Ellen Neel - The First Woman Totem Pole Carver"
"Across the Turtles Back"
"Pushing the Boundaries"
"Looking Back at You"
"Resource: A Living Archive"
"The War Department"
"Pushing the Boundaries"
"Out of the Darkness"
"Portraits of Canadian Newsmakers."
"Steeling the Gaze: Portraits by Aboriginal Artists"

"AYP - Indigenous Voices Reply"
"About Face."
"Changing Hands - 2"

Legacy Gallery, Victoria,
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
North Vancouver Gallery, N. Vancouver, BC
Confederation Art Centre, Charlottetown, PEI
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
Indian Arts Institute of America, Santa Fe, NM
North Vancouver Gallery, N. Vancouver, BC
Emily Carr University, Vancouver, BC
National Portrait Gallery of Canada
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Thunderbay Art Gallery, Thunderbay, ON
Burke Museum, Seattle, WA
Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM
Eitljorg Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY
Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe
Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, OK
Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN

2005 2005 2005 2004 2004 2002 2001 2001 2001 2001 2000 2000 2000

2000 1999 1998 1998 1998

"Royal Reopening Exhibition."
"Dzunukwa: The Wild Woman."
"Modern Masters"
"Face to Face."
"Identities: Canadian Portraits"
"Recent Acquisitions"
"Vancouver Collects"
"Exploring the Collection: Prevalent Concerns"
"Long Time: Selections from the Permanent Collection" "Portrait Gallery of Canada"
"Beyond Borders"
"The Powwow: Inside and Out"
"Journeys Towards Knowledge"

"A Century of Canadians at Work
"Artist for the new Millennium" 2 Man Show
"Celebrating the Season: Vessels for the Feast"
"Masks from the Northwest Coast"
"Kentucky Head, Heart and Hands"

Canada House, London, England
Quintana Galleries, Portland, OR
Cline Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
McMicheal Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON
Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Coninx Museum, Zurich, Switzerland
MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, Australia
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa,
Gallery 10, Scottsdale, AZ
The Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA
Gallery 10, Santa Fe, NM
Kentucky Art & Craft Museum, Louisville KY
Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH
Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage
Center, Yakima, WA
Deland Museum, Deland, FL
American Craft Museum, NY

1997 1997

1997 1997 1997 1997 1997 1997

"Redefining Tradition: A Selection of First Nations Artists"
"Them Equals Us"
"State of the Art"
"Treasured Memories"
"Captain Vancouver: Four Native Perspectives"
"7th Native American Fine Arts Invitational"
"Strong Hearts: Aboriginal Voices & Visions"

Whatcom Museum, Whatcom, WA
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON
Tour of 30 Canadian towns & cities
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Confederation Art Centre, Charlottetown, PEI
The Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Quintana Art Gallery, Portland, OR
Smithsonian Institute, New York, NY
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN
Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY
Robert Hull Fleming Museum, niversity of Vermont,
Burlington, VT


"Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North America"

Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY
Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
University of California, Ervine, CA
Westfield State College, Westfield, MA
Hartford Art School, Hartford, CT
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
Emily Davis Gallery, Akron, OH
Flint Institute of Art, Flint, MI
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

1996 1995 1994 1994 1994 1993

1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1992 1991 1991 1991

1991 1991 1990 1989 1987 1986 1985

"Aboriginal Portraits from the National Archives of Canada"
"First Nations Art"
"All Roads are Good"
"Spirit Faces"
"First Nations Contemporary Art"
"Indian Territories: 20th Century Native American Artists Dismantle 19th Century Euro-American Myths"
"Partial Recall"
"Artropolis 1993"
"The Contemporary Camera"
"Facing History"
"Partial Recall"
"Guatemalan/Canadian Indigenous Art Exhibition"
"Personal Histories"
"First Nations Photography"
"Means of Knowing"
"Canadian Inuit, Northwest Coast Art"
"Celebration of First Nations Art"
"Native America: Reflecting Contemporary Realities"
"New Territories: 350/500 Years After"
"First Nations Art 1992"
"Native American Exhibition"
"Autobiography in First Nations Art"
"The Silver Anniversary Art Donation"
"Strengthening the Spirit"
"Contemporary Native Art Show"
"Solidarity: Art After Oka"
"Northwest Coast Native Drum Exhibition"
"Northwest Coast Native Masks"
"Artropolis 1987"
"Invitational Mask Show"
"Invitational Plate Show"

National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Canadian Embassy, Moscow, Russia
Smithsonian Institution, New York, NY
Inuit Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
Renee Fotouhi Gallery, East Hampton, NY
Tyler Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
Vancouver, BC
Red Head Gallery, Toronto, ON
National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Boulder Art Center, Boulder, CO
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC
Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
Exposure Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Seoul Arts Centre, Seoul, Korea
Sponsored by Syncrude. Tour of Canadian cities.
National tour of museums in the US.
Maison de la Culture, Montreal, PQ
Woodlands Cultural Centre, Brantford, ON
Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden
Ufundi Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
A Space/Workscene Galleries, Toronto, ON
Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, ON
Quintana Gallery, Portland, OR
SAW Gallery, Ottawa, ON
Inuit Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Inuit Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver, BC
Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
Conduit Gallery, Dallas. TX


1980 - 1982 1978 - 1980

Photojournalism, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Photojournalism, Mount Royal College, Calgary, AB


Vancouver Art Gallery
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Kwagiutl Museum, Cape Mudge, BC
Carleton University Gallery
Seattle Art Museum
Vancouver Centennial Museum
Royal BC Museum, Victoria, BC
Museum of Civilization, Hull, PQ
UBC Museum of Anthropology
Indian Art Centre, Ottawa, ON
Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
McMicheal Canadian Art Collection

Canadian Embassy, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Smithsonian Institution - NMAI
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
Burke Museum, Seattle, WA
Camosun College, Victoria, BC
Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
National Archives of Canada
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON
Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Anchorage Museum of History and Art


"The Great Canoes: Reviving a Northwest Coast Tradition" Douglas & McIntyre / University of Washington Press
"Our Chiefs and Elders: Words and Photographs of Native Leaders" University of Washington/UBC Press


2012 2010 2009 2008 2008 2007 2005 2003 2003 2002 2002 1997 1997 1996 1994-96 1992 1992 1991 1991 1991 1989 1989 1988 1988 1988 1987 1987

Establishes the David Neel Gallery Ltd., North Vancouver, BC
Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Ledyard, CT.
Cedar Valley Community School, Lynnwood, WA
British Museum, London, England
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History,
Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Groton, CT.
National Geographic Society, Washington, DC. Designs film festival award.
Totem pole for VanCity Credit Union, North Vancouver, BC
Bronze for Cedar Valley Community School, Lynnwood, WA
BC Arts Council Grant.
Numerous commissions for private collections.
Carved 32' canoe for Coquitlam School Board, Coquitlam, BC
Project Assistance for Visual Artists award.
Two photography exhibitions for Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Carved 26' traditional oceangoing canoe from 500 year old cedar log
Photographic portraits for "Pathways of Tradition" exhibition, National Museum of the American Indian
Community Scholar Study grant, Smithsonian Institute
Artist Assistance grant, BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs (mask series)
Photographed Hauberg Collection for the Seattle Art Museum using Kwagiutl dancers
Canada Council Explorations Grant: Contemporary Mask Series
Kodak Canada funding
Photographed Northwest Coast bighouses for the Museum of Civilization
Canada Council project grant for "Our Chiefs and Elders"
Mungo Martin Memorial Award
BC Indian Arts and Crafts Society grant
Arness Foundation grant
Mungo Martin Memorial Award

David Neel
443 West 3rd Street, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1G6 (By appointment Only)