Klatle-bhi (pronounced “Cloth-Bay”) was born in North Vancouver, British Columbia in 1966. He began his life as an artist studying the works of his ancestors featured in museums and galleries. He spent many hours with artists Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, Wade Baker and Rick Harry, absorbing their understanding and knowledge of native culture. His uncle, T. Richard Baker, also shared with Klatle-bhi the knowledge he gained over a period of many years working with renowned Haida artists Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Jim Hart.
In his carving, which has evolved over the years, Klatle-bhi is committed to the spiritual and cultural expression of his ancestors. Many of his carvings express his own personal and spiritual journey through life. Klatle-bhi has developed a style of carving which is unique and distinctive. It is his goal to achieve the highest level of craftsmanship and artistry that this cultural medium will allow. He believes that his journey will always continue. He has recently renewed his interest in creating prints and working more in glass, metal and other materials.
Aside from his artwork, Klatle-bhi aspires to maintain the languages, dances and songs of his ancestors. Klatle-bhi believes both art and culture meet on a journey into the history of his people. Klatle-bhi has taken on several apprentices to share the knowledge and experiences passed down to him with the next generaHon of up and coming artists.
In 2008, Klatle-bhi was commissioned by Petro-Canada to carve a 22-foot totem pole for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics games as part of their national sponsorship of the games. The legacy sea-to-sky totem pole stood at the Four Host First Nations Pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Theatre during the winter games. After the Olympics, the totem pole found a permanent home in the atrium of Petro-Canada’s (now Suncor Energy) Calgary headquarters.
A totem measuring 24’ was carved by Klatle-bhi in 2022 and now stands as the centrepiece of the Heath Bay community on Guilford Island (Gway’usdums) in the Broughton Archipelago. This epic totem is representative of his family and depicts Eagle, Whale, Seal, Sistult and the Faces of his people.
Klatle-bhi’s artwork can be found in several public museums, including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and the Burke Memorial Museum of Natural History in Seattle. In addition Klatle-bhi has created countless private commissions, both large and small, for corporate offices and private collectors around the world.
In 2023 Klatle-bhi was recognized by the BC Achievement Foundation with the prestigious Polygon Award for First Nations Art.