About Rande Cook

artist Rande Cook

Rande Cook was born and raised Kwagiulth in culture-rich Alert Bay, a small village on the northern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Surrounded by the beauty of land and art, Rande discovered the passion of creativity at an early age.

Rande now resides in Victoria, BC where he continues to push himself creatively by finding fresh inspiration in new mediums. He has worked with many great mentors such as John Livingston for his mastery in wood sculpting, Robert Davidson in metal work, and Calvin Hunt for his amazing craftsmanship in wood.

Rande’s latest creative ideas required him to expand his capacities, so in 2010 he traveled to Italy to train with repousee and chasing master Valentin Yotkov followed by further study in New York at Yotkov’s studio.

Rande pushes himself in all his mediums while searching for a perfection of each technique. Rande’s works can be seen in many galleries in the United States and Canada, and are now in collections around the world. In 2009, Rande became a Kwagiulth chief, inheriting his great grandfather’s chief’s name, Makwala or “moon”.

To view Rande’s art, visit randecook.com


Rande News

Broderick Fox Interviewed on Queer 2 the T

Queer 2 The T

Thanks to Tee S. Hawkins and Kenya Gales over at Queer 2 the T, PR Radio’s top-ranking show, for a great interview about The Skin I’m In. Tee’s great questions led to an in-depth conversation about body, identity, spirituality, and intergenerational perspectives in the digital-age LGBTQ  community. We also talk in depth about the amazing work of featured artists and collaborators Rande Cook and Zulu, and I share new information about my next film project Zen & the Art of Dying and its queer central character, the pioneering Zenith Virago.

Listen to the full interview.



Rande Cook’s Totem Pole Installed in Its Permanent Home

Rande Cook’s totem pole has been permanently installed outside the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden in the Netherlands. Looks amazing!

 Rande Cook's totem pole Museum Volkenkunde Leiden Netherlands

Rande Cook Attends Official Exhibition Opening in the Netherlands


Thunderbird and orca totem by Rande Cook, image courtesy of the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden, the Netherlands

Rande Cook returned to the Netherlands to attend the official unveiling and exhibition opening of “The Story of the Totem Pole” an interactive exhibition at the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden. The central element of the exhibition, which exhibits first nations traditions of the American Pacific Northwest and Canada, is the massive 8-meter thunderbird and orca totem pole designed by Cook and completed by him, along with a core team of fellow Kwakwaka’wakw carvers and painters. This is the first and only totem pole in the Netherlands. The opening was commemorated by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet and included opportunities to share traditional costumes and dances with attendees. See more photographs of the events and exhibition here.

Rande Cook’s Netherlands Totem Collaboration Covered in The Times Colonist

First Nations artist Rande Cook, here at his studio on Bridge Street in Victoria, was selected from an open call to artists from bands across the Pacific Northwest to participate in an exhibition in the Netherlands. Photograph by: Lyle Stafford, timescolonist.com

First Nations artist Rande Cook, here at his studio on Bridge Street in Victoria, was selected from an open call to artists from bands across the Pacific Northwest to participate in an exhibition in the Netherlands.
Photograph by: Lyle Stafford, timescolonist.com

Check out the Tmes Colonist article on Rande by Amy Smart:  “Totem goes Dutch: Victoria-based carver’s work part of First Nations exhibit in the Netherlands”

An excerpt:

Kwakwaka’wakw history – from the mass loss of art during the potlatch ban in the 1880s through persistent poverty on reserves – is all connected in his art. But at the same time, Cook is conscientious of defining his own voice and moving across traditional boundaries that have separated First Nations art from others.

“I push myself, not only to create my own distinctive style, but to continue to tell stories – stories of today,” he said. “I want to connect with the rest of the world.


Rande Cook Collaborates with Aqua-Artist Peter Lewis

– Image of Rande Cook in the Cowichan News Leader

Rande Cook is at it again, this time collaborating with artist Peter Lewis to create the coolest “drinking fountain” I’ve ever seen.

The original was commissioned for Duncan, BC’s centennial. Rande’s sculpture will be cast in  fiberglass by artist Richard Gibson to produce the finished piece.  In all, 25 clones will be cast and “sold at $45,000 to global collectors, institutions and cities saluting the City of Totems” with funds going back into the Duncan treasury.

Read the full article on their collaboration by Peter Rusland for the Cowichan News Leader.

Totem Pole’s Thunderbird Brings Rain to the Netherlands

Rande Cook and his carving team at the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden

Rande and his team are now in Leiden, completing and installing the first ever totem pole in the Netherlands for the Museum Volkenkunde. Rande reports:

I put the wings on kwanusila today, he came alive!!
Thunder and lightening all over holland now!!

He has awakened… 😉


Rande Cook Tapped to Carve First Totem Pole in the Netherlands

Rande Cook's totem pole commissioned by the Museum Volkenkunde Leiden in process.  Photo courtesy of U'mista Cultural Society.

THE SKIN I’M IN featured artist Rande Cook has been commissioned to carve what will be the Netherlands’ first and only totem pole for the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden. See photos and videos of the carving progress on the Museum Volkenkunde website or in the U’mista Cultural Society Facebook album.

Rande Cook and Sonny Assu: Ebb and Flow

Artist Rande Cook has another show opening next week on Vancouver Island.  A joint show with artist Sonny Assu “Ebb and Flow” will run June 1- Sept. 1 at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, which is located on the VIU Campus.

Rande will give an artist’s talk at 4:30 PM on June 1.
Nanaimo Art Gallery: 330 – 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, V9R 5S5
Ebb & Flow at Nanaimo Gallery