(1946 – Present, Cree)
Cree artist Gene Brabant was born in Victoria, B.C. in 1946. Originally from Saskatchewan, Brabant’s family moved to the West Coast during the Second World War after his father was discharged from service. As a child, Gene became close friends with the celebrated Hunt family. It was during this time that Mungo Martin and Henry Hunt initiated the Thunderbird Park project at the Royal Museum of British Columbia, where Gene was first exposed to traditional Northwest Coast art and carving. By the time Gene was in his early twenties, he was already carving and painting regularly. At the invitation of Tony Hunt Sr. Gene began studying and working at Arts of the Raven, a workshop and gallery opened by Tony and colleague John Livingston, and he continued to work there throughout the seventies. In the decades since, Gene has become a well-established and successful carver and jeweler. Gene’s work has been featured in a number of exhibitions and collections in Canada and abroad, including the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Osaka. His son, Jay Brabant, is also a carver and artist.