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Terry Starr was born in March 1951. He is from the Gispax Laats Tribe of the Tsimshian Nation. It is an Eagle clan. Terry's mother was from Kitsumkalum, and his father was from Laxkwalaams, or the town of Port Simpson. The Tsimshian Nation is located halfway north up the British Columbia coast, directly east of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Currently Terry lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 1982, Terry purchased two adzes and three knives, his first carving tools. He began by making local sales of his work to various Victoria art galleries that purchased Native Art.
In 1984, he sat and learned carving techniques from Richard Hunt, master Kwagiulth artist at Thunderbird Park and the British Columbia Provincial Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. Terry assisted Richard Hunt in carving a thirty-foot Kwagiulth totem pole, which was shipped to Expo '89 in Australia.
Terry's work has been seen in various art shows and exhibitions around North America. He has been commissioned to paint screens and logos for businesses and museums, and has done carving demonstrations at museums. He works in a wide range of mediums, including woodcarvings of various kinds, massive screens, and drums.
Twice he has been contracted to construct a full-scale replica of a traditional Tsimshian Big house. For both of these projects, he has hired and trained a crew of carvers. One was for a museum, and the other was onsite at a village.