Greg Colfax

Greg Colfax was trained as an educator and in creative writing, with degrees from both Western Washington University and the University of Washington. He has taught both in the Native American Studies Program at Evergreen State College and in elementary and high school at Neah Bay. He began his training as a carver in 1978 under Art Thompson, George David, Steve Brown and Loren White. He has been described as an “artist, fisherman, canoe company manager, poet and philosopher.” Two of his pieces are included in the travelling exhibition, “Lost and Found Traditions,” a drum and an innovative bentwood whaler’s box that was featured on the cover of the exhibition catalogue.

In 1985, a twelve-foot figure of a woman drumming was carved by Colfax for the Native American Studies Program at Evergreen State College in Olympia where it now stands. In addition, Colfax was recently commissioned by the city of Tukwila to produce a fifty-foot carved and painted cedar mural as a public art project for Tukwila City Hall. Colfax has researched the collections at the Burke Museum, Royal British Columbia Museum and the Makah Cultural and Research Center, and consults with Makah elders about the meaning and uses of art objects and utensils. Today he is considered a master carver in Neah Bay, working with apprentices. In addition to his many commissions for original carvings, Colfax also restores old pieces.

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