About The Artist
David NeelDavid Neel is a Native jewelry designer with over 18 years professional experience. He works with gold, silver, platinum and precious stones to create pieces that reflect the rich cultural heritage of his people, the Kwagiutl of Vancouver Island, Canada.
A hereditary artist, he follows in the footsteps of his family, who are some of the leading figures in Northwest coast Native art. This includes; Dave Neel Sr., his father, Ellen Neel, his grandmother, Mungo Martin, his great-great uncle, and Charlie James, his great-great-great grandfather.
He was taught in the traditional way, by peers from his fathers village. He then went on to establish a contemporary style that incorporates the legends and teachings of his people. Starting with gold and silver, he skillfully transforms the ancient stories into unique and powerful pieces of jewelry.
Throughout his career he has worked in a number of media, including: woodcarving, photography, painting and printmaking. He is the author of two books on Native culture, and is currently working on a third book. He has had dozens of exhibitions in museums and art galleries, and is represented in numerous public collections.
Jewelry design has special significance for David though, because of the limitless creative possibilities. He also enjoys the meaning that his clients attach to the work; using them to mark important events in their lives; birth, death, relationships, and even victory overcoming an illness. Over the years his clients have shared many stories about the symbolism they assign to his pieces, and this is what he finds fulfilling.