Born in 1970
Lives in Watson Lake, Yukon, Alaska, USA
Dean Heron, Kaska/Tlingit and member of the Wolf Clan from Teslin, Yukon. His father was a teacher and superintendent of public schools, which allowed him to see many parts of the country while growing up. It was living in northern British Columbia that had an impact on his sense of environment, community, and self-identity. His parents encouraged him to search out his heritage from a young age. He writes, “I have just started as a carver and enjoy learning a new medium to express my ideas. Every new insight brings more excitement and knowledge. I continue to be inspired by those who came before me and what they were able to accomplish.”
In the early 1990's Dean started to pursue a lifelong commitment to learning First Nation's art. He began designing and painting at first, but wanted to learn to carve. In 2006, this took him back to the north - to Terrace, B.C. where he began formal training in drawing, design, tool-making and carving under prominent Northwest Coast artists Stan Bevan, Ken McNeil, and Dempsey Bob at the Freda Deising School of Northwest Coast Art. In the spring of 2007 Dean was recognized by the Northwest Community College with the Dr. Freda Diesing Award.
Dean's current body of work includes serigraphs, paintings, regalia design and wood carvings. His salmon depiction What the Future Beholds was selected by the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre as their official logo. In the summer of 2007, Dean and fellow student Henry Kelly were asked by teachers Bevan and McNeil to paint five longhouse fronts for the community of Kitselas, B.C.
Mr. Heron also teaches the local youth the fundamentals of Northwest Coast design at Northwest Community College. Most recently, Mr. Heron traveled with his teacher and mentor, Stan Bevan, to Australia and New Zealand to open the People of the Cedar exhibit in Melbourne, Australia and to visit carving schools in New Zealand with the intention of learning from their curricula and to speak to and learn from other indigenous artists.
His work can be found in private, public and gallery collections throughout Canada, Norway, United States, Australia, Germany and Hong Kong. He has been represented in a number of exhibits in Canada, the United States, and around the world.