Tom Patterson began carving at the age of fifteen with the Arts of the Raven Workshop Program. Here he developed his skills under the tutelage of Tony Hunt, a renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artist and member of the famous Hunt family of carvers. Patterson has been influenced in recent years by the works of Nuu-chah-nulth artists, Tim Paul, and Art Thompson and Haida artist, Don Yeomans.
Patterson’s artistic journey has been one of discovery. He has gradually expanded his repertoire through a continuing study of his culture making use of books, photographs, and contact with the elders. Patterson also studies different Northwest Coast styles, such as Bella Coola, Tlingit, and Tsimshian.
He also participated in an open studio workshop for the Vancouver Art Gallery in conjunction with the exhibit, Down From The Shimmering Sky. Patterson completed a study of an old Nuxalk (Bella Coola) Sun Mask – the piece that inspired him is on the cover of the exhibition’s catalogue. Patterson enjoys working at a large scale and joins traditional Nuu-chah-nulth designs with his unique and bold style.