Kelly Robinson was born on May 18, 1981 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. His roots and family origin are in Bella Coola, BC with descendants from both the Nuxalk and Nuu-chah-nulth nations. He was exposed to First Nations artwork from an early age and was always interested in learning and refining the art — specifically the unique design forms of the Nuxalk.
Under the guidance of his uncle, noted master carver, Alvin Mack, Kelly has developed his own techniques in the creation of two and three dimensional art forms. He graduated from the Northwest Coast jewelry program at the Native Education College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Immediately following graduation, Kelly began an apprenticeship with Haida artist Jim McGuire to continue his understanding of design and the ever-changing art market. Before moving to Terrace to attend the Freida Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, Kelly accepted a short term apprenticeship under Gordon Dick, to familiarize and learn about his Nuu-chah-nulth roots.
“I am at the beginning stages of my art career. The knowledge I’ve been long awaiting to receive, has arrived. Taking and using these tools in the proper manner will show me my purpose in the contribution for First Nation people. It is very vital for me as a Northwest Coast artist, to recognize the values of not only the art, but the song, dance and language of our people. Through the art, I will begin my educational journey in recapturing the culture we once had.”