Power and Perception Exhibit Showcases Contemporary Native Artists

Kevin Red Star (Crow Nation; born 1943)
Buffalo Horse Medicine, 2007, Mixed media
     The Crow people have enduring relationships with horses. Paraded at the annual Crow Fair Celebration and other special events, horses adorned in beaded regalia demonstrate their value and importance to the Crow Nation. In Buffalo Horse Medicine, Kevin Red Star depicts horses that are an important breed for buffalo hunting. Red Star signifies a connection between this man’s identity as a buffalo hunter and his strong relationship with horses.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Many portraits of Indigenous people by non-Native artists romanticize, stereotype, or appropriate Native people and cultures. Contemporary Native artists are actively deconstructing these myths and preconceptions about their culture through the use of art. In fact, many modern-day artists use a dynamic combination of materials, methods and concepts that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition. 

Charles M. Russell (born 1864, died 1926)
Indian Canoe Party, 1906, Watercolor on paper
      Great Slave Lake is in the Northwest Territories about 1,200 miles north of the Montana-Canada border. When Russell was 24-years-old, he spent six months in the Northwest Territory. It is possible that this painting is based on his travels.
Russell paints with a romanticism and nostalgia for what he considered the Old West. His idealized paintings of Natives are ripe with metaphors. In the early 20th century, most of America was concerned or convinced that Native cultures would be extinct. For Russell, the setting sun represented this false view.

Tacoma Art Museum’s newest exhibition “Native Portraiture: Power and Perception” gives voice to Native people and communities to show their resiliency and power over the ways in which they are portrayed and perceived. Native tribes aren’t uniform, they are diverse with a variety of distinct characteristics. As such, the artists in this show have taken on varied points of view while sharing their voice. All are well executed and demonstrate that you can’t pin Native art into a single category.

Preston Singletary (Tlingit; born 1963)
Whale & Eagle, 2013, Limited edition patented bronze
       Artists capture the true appearances of the animals by highlighting anatomy and form. Bronze sculptures typically appear on a base without any background images, which places further emphasis on the shape and individuality of each creature rather than on the scene or setting. Through his sculpture, Preston Singletary invites viewers to look more closely at animals and foster a sense of awe and wonder.

“We can now say, let’s look at this artwork and use a contemporary lens to unpack where these artists are coming from and why they painted the work in this manner,” explained Faith Brower, exhibit curator. “We hope to inspire visitors to explore both controversial issues of appropriation and cultural imagery, and to think differently about Western art and how it relates to their lives and communities.”

Wendy Red Star (Crow Nation, 1981)
Indian Summer – Four Seasons, 1996, Archival pigment print
       When visiting natural history museums, Crow artist Wendy Red Star was struck by the displays that treat Native people as inanimate remnants of the past. She reclaims these troublesome dioramas by humorously staging a fake museum display in which she wears an elk tooth dress, hair wraps and beaded moccasins while sitting on artificial grass surrounded by fabricated plants and animals. Simulating a mountain lake scene, this image uses humor and irony to address issues of stereotyping and romanticizing Native people today.

“Native Portraiture: Power and Perception”, on display through February of 2019, highlights work by Native artists who address issues of identity, resistance and reclamation through their powerful artwork. The artists ask us to reconsider images of Indigenous people because certain reoccurring themes, such as the “vanishing Indian” and “noble savage”, have led to centuries of cultural misunderstandings.

Shaun Peterson (Puyallup Tribe; born 1975)
Welcome Figure, 2010
Cedar, steel, graphite and magnets
       The 20-foot-tall Welcome Figure stands fixed in Tacoma’s Tollefson Plaza, where a Puyallup tribal village had once stood. From acquiring and transporting a suitable wind-fall cedar log, to devising a metal support system, to carving, assembling, and painting the figure, the work stands as a time-honored sculpture that greets people on Coast Salish lands. Funded by the City of Tacoma, the Puyallup Tribe, and Tacoma Art Museum, the figure is carved from a single log and marks the participation of the tribe and Coast Salish people in contemporary society. Installed on September 13, 2010, the Welcome Figure is a powerful reminder that we are on Indigenous land.

“What’s happening now is museums are realizing that they have a problem and that problem is that they don’t have the Native American perspective,” said exhibit artist Wendy Red Star. “All the culture has been mined and been talked about by non-Natives. Now, there’s a switch where that body of work works really well as sort of being an institutional critique piece. It tends to fit, to help articulate that in an exhibition like this.”

Rick Bartow (Wiyot Tribe; born 1946, died 2016)
Old Time Picture I, 1999
Mixed media on handmade paper
     Wiyot artist Rick Bartow is known for his powerful, vibrant and expressive images of people and animals. His work is honest and provocative depicting emotions that set it apart from stereotypical representations of Native people and cultures. Rather than glorifying a stoic person in a headdress, Bartow depicts the range of emotions that people feel through this depiction of a man. The title further suggest Bartow’s challenge of the stereotypical depictions of Native Americans.

Thousands celebrate tradition and culture at UW powwow

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The steady, strong sound of rhythmic drumbeats rumbled through Hec Ed Pavilion as dancers, big and small, honored their unique tribal cultures during the 47th annual Spring Powwow held at the University of Washington. Hosted by the student-led organization, First Nations, the two-day powwow brought out an estimated eight to ten-thousand people over the weekend of April 7th. 

Blackstone Singers from Cree Territory was the host drum. Their powerful voices echoed through the arena, while dancers from all over Indian Country showcased their unique style of dance and corresponding regalia. During Grand Entry, the main stage was awash with color and movement, sparkling gold and polished silver, the earth tones of leather and feathers, and all manner of fluorescent fabrics. 

In the concession area outside the arena, aromas of fry bread and smoked salmon filled the air as vendors set up table after table of unique, hand-made goods. 

The Spring Powwow is a competitive powwow, meaning it includes dance contests according to age (junior, teen, adult, 50 and up) and style. The dancers specialized in a variety of styles: grass, cloth, jingle, fancy, and chicken. Monetary prizes are awarded to dancers in each category who score highest with the judges. As the weekend continued, each dance category got its turn: the energetic fancy dancers, the bobbing movements of the women’s buckskin dance, and the strutting chicken dance.

Representing hundreds of tribes, University of Washington’s annual powwow is one of the biggest powwow in the Pacific Northwest. Free to the public, it continues to provide a perfect opportunity for families and individuals from all walks of life to celebrate a culture that continues to thrive in tradition.

Young Tulalip tribal member, Mone’t Clemens, whips up a delicious dish in food competition

By Kalvin Valdillez

Ten elementary students from the Marysville School District were selected to compete in a culinary competition on Thursday March 22, at the Marysville Pilchuck High School food commons. The young chefs, wearing aprons and tall chef hats, prepared Asian-inspired fusion dishes for a panel of guest judges. The future chef competition is held in school districts across the nation by Sodexo, a company that focuses on providing quality of life services to local communities, which include nutrition and health care. Among the ten students competing in the contest was Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary student and Tulalip tribal member Mone’t Clemens, who just turned ten years old a day prior to the competition.

“So I’m not just watching TV, I always ask my mom if I can help cook,” says Mone’t. “When I saw the flyer for the contest, I really wanted to sign up. I think the competition is wonderful, everybody is really nice and helpful. All the kids’ dishes are pretty and look delicious.”

The kitchen of MPHS was busy as the young chefs hustled about, cooking and plating their meals in sample cups for the judges. Outside, in the food commons, parents and family members were getting hungry as the smell of delicious food slowly seeped from the kitchen to the cafeteria.

“This is very exciting,” expressed Mone’t’s father, David Charley. “She always helps cook our dinners. About a year ago, she started asking her mom and was always told, ‘no, you’re too young’ but she kept pressing for her interest and here we are.”

“Today I prepared an Asian Peanut Noodle dish with chicken,” stated Mone’t as she happily described her recipe. “I chose this dish because I like peanut butter. My family and I are big peanut butter fans, so me and my mom thought it was the perfect dish to make.”

Once all the sample cups were prepared, the student chefs took their stations in the commons and anxiously waited for the judges to come by and try their recipes. Mone’t received many compliments such as ‘this has the perfect amount of spice’ and ‘very tasty’. One judge even opted to indulge in a second helping of the Asian Peanut Noodles. Once all meals were thoroughly taste-tested, the judges announced the winner of the 2018 Marysville School District-Sodexo Future Chef Competition, Joshua Earnheart of Grove Elementary.

Although Mone’t didn’t take first place, she isn’t letting that discourage her from her passion for cooking. After all, she was one of the only Future Chef’s in the competition with zero sample cups left after the judging was complete, which is saying a lot when in a room full of scrumptious food created by a group of young talented cooks.

“In the future, I see myself cooking for my family and preparing delicious dishes for my future kids and my mom when they come over for Thanksgiving. I think that if somebody really wants to learn how to cook, they should ask their parents, grandmas or guardians to help in the kitchen, because with your family is the best way to cook.”

Coastal Jams keep the cultural fire burning

By Kalvin Valdillez

On the fourth Thursday of every month, traditional drumbeats echo from the Longhouse of the Hibulb Cultural Center between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. And according to a couple of museum employees, the songs can be heard from as far as the intersection of Marine Drive and 27th Ave NE.

Traditional singers, dancers, storytellers and musicians from across the nation gather at the museum to celebrate Indigenous culture during an event known as the Hibulb Cultural Center Coastal Jam. During the most recent Coastal Jam, tribal members from Tlingit, Apache and Swinomish joined Tulalip members in a fun hour of song and dance.

“These Coastal Jams are all about keeping the cultural fire burning,” explains Coastal Jam Host and Tulalip tribal member, Cary Williams. “We’ve been doing this for around five to six months. I’ve been to many different of arenas and many different styles of gathering, so in that way I’ve picked up those tools to run this floor. More and more people show up and more and more drums and songs from all different tribes are shared on this floor. It’s an open floor for traditions and teachings; we also play flute songs as well. We honor our elders and give them time to speak, we also allow the children to participate and pick up those teachings and be exposed to the songs and traditions.”

Many participants from other tribes shared their songs as well as a little bit about themselves and their families during the event.

Traditional Flutist, Paul Nyenhuis, opened and concluded the ceremony, performing beautiful melodies on his handmade flutes. Paul also gifted miniature flutes to the youth in attendance. During one of the songs, a young tribal member was inspired to take to the floor to showcase her traditional dance skills. Soon after, participants began to join the young dancer until nearly every person in the Longhouse was either dancing or singing. One of the first to join the young lady was community member and Apache tribal member, Ayanna Fuentes.

“I think the event is really good,” states Ayanna. “I live in Stanwood-Camano area and so most jams I have to drive out like forever far, so it’s super nice to have a local and safe space in the area. It definitely warms my heart to be able to come and share and sing. I love to dance. I sing and drum a lot but dancing is one of my favorite things about jams so it’s nice to be able to dance on a regular Thursday, it’s beautiful.”

Currently the Coastal Jams are held for only an hour, but Cary explained that as the event grows, so will the duration, expressing he wants each jam to go as long as it can for as long as it needs to.

“It’s an honor to carry these songs,” Cary expresses. “It’s an honor to have them as a part of my life, to share them with the youth of this tribe and to have them out in front of our elders as well. It also heals me along the way when people come and share their songs. Our doors are always open and we invite all drummers and singers to this space to share what they have to offer to their community and families. Also, the outside world that comes and looks at who we are as Indian People, we also have that ground to educate upon and share our ways of life and our ways of viewing the world we all live in. I feel like participation keeps growing, one day soon this Longhouse will be too small for this event.”

For more information, please contact the Hibulb Cultural Center at (360) 716-2600.

Tulalip Lions Club Presents Awards to Peace Poster Contest Winners

Levi DeGraves, Nevitta Miller and Naughdia Lugo Hatch

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

For the past thirty-one years, the Lions Club has held an international art contest for kids across the globe between the ages of eleven and thirteen, known as the Peace Poster Contest. Kids submit water-colored posters, displaying what peace means to them, to their local Lions Club who then collectively choose a winner among the local submissions. The first place posters are sent to the next level of judges and can potentially win the international prize of five-thousand US dollars. The Tulalip Lions Club partnered with the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club to help spread the word about the contest and garner more poster submissions.

“The contest has actually been going on annually since 1988 from Lions Club International,” explains Linda Tolbert, Tulalip Lions Club Community Services Chairman. “There’s over 60,000 kids who enter each year from over seventy-five countries. We have been doing it here for the last six years because we wanted to get our youth’s artwork out there for other people to see.”

The Lions Club partnered with the art department of the Boys and Girls Club to provide a place for the kids to work on their posters with limited distractions. As an added bonus, the young artists receive guidance and artistic direction from the Tulalip Boys and Girl Club Art Specialist, Astrid Holt-Marshall, while working on their submissions.

“Each year there’s a different theme,” states Astrid. “Last year it was the Future of Peace, this year it’s Kindness Matters. I sit the kids down and have them close their eyes and visualize what kindness looks like to them – are they with a friend? Are they doing something fun? Are they helping someone out? And then I ask them how will their vision help achieve peace? How would you show that on a big piece of paper to other people? Once they’ve had the chance to sketch out their ideas and know what colors they want to use, we proceed to the big poster paper. I think this contest is important because it teaches art expression which helps teach tolerance, self-expression and also boosts their self-esteem. It’s all about building them up.”

On March 15, the Tulalip Lions Club awarded the 2017 Peace Poster contest winners with certificates and cash prizes at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club. Naughdia Lugo Hatch took home the first place prize for her poster of a mesmerizing dreamcatcher. Runner up prizes were also awarded to Levi DeGraves, Bricia Sanchez, Dorothy Guss and Nevitta Miller.

The Tulalip Lions Club are currently accepting posters for the 2018 Peace Poster Contest up until October 1, with the winner to be announced shortly after. In addition to the contest, Tulalip Lions also does a lot of work within the Tulalip community, such as taking lost and found clothing items from the Tulalip Resort Casino, Tulalip Bingo and Quil Ceda Creek Casino and donating them to Tulalip Elders, homeless shelters and local missions. The Club is also providing a few cash prizes for the upcoming Native American Student Art Festival hosted by Tulalip Youth Services as well as planning their annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk at the Tulalip Amphitheatre in July.

Bricia Sanchez won a runner-up prize for her artwork.

“The Peace Poster Contest gives the youth a new outlet,” says Linda. “It’s not just their friends and relatives seeing their art anymore. The winner of our contest went to our district and was judged by all the presidents within our zone. One kid didn’t want to submit hers because she didn’t feel it was good enough and lo and behold, she took first place. So, it’s about building confidence and giving them something to look forward to. I really wish they could all be winners because they were all really good.”

Artist Dorothy Guss received a runner-up prize for her artwork.

For additional details about the Peace Poster Contest please contact the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club at (360) 716-3400 or visit the Tulalip Lions Club website at www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/Tulalip.

Broadway Dreams, Starring Bella Fryberg

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

It was a near sold-out show at Arlington High School as the Drama Club prepared for the opening night of Seussical the Musical on March 2. The play’s inspiration draws from the great imagination of Dr. Seuss and features a number of his famous characters, such as the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and Horton the Elephant. The cast of young high schoolers awed the audience with their amazing talents, belting out a number of tunes accompanied by the school band. One of the standout performances of the play is Arlington High School sophomore and Tulalip tribal member, Izabella ‘Bella’ Fryberg, who plays a feature role as Mayzie LaBird from the book Horton Hatches an Egg.

“I sing at home a lot. I started acting my freshman year but I’ve been singing since fifth grade,” expressed Bella minutes before the start of the show.

Bella is no stranger to the spotlight. At the young age of fifteen, she’s been in Tae Kwon Do competitions and ballet recitals, as well as jazz dance performances. In the addition to Seussical the Musical, Bella is preparing to sing in a cabaret this April with her choir who meets every day before school to rehearse. It was during her freshman year that she was cast in the school’s rendition of Guys and Dolls: The Musical and fell in love with the performing arts.

“This is important to me because it’s a great way to express and show my creativity and honestly it’s a lot of fun,” she says. “It’s a good way to get out your creative juices. It’s great hanging out and getting to know everyone, you get so close because you go through rehearsal, makeup and the stress together. I want to go to a performing school in New York. While I’m there, I want to pursue a degree in music, but also be auditioning for shows because I want to be on Broadway – that’s my main goal.”

“Bella is like a ball of energy,” says Drama Director Scott Moberly. “She’s got an incredible voice and stage presence you can’t really teach. I think it’s her greatest attribute because she is so natural and comfortable on stage. If it’s a matter of raw talent, at this age, she’s solid. She is naturally gifted. What will make a difference is the training she will get. The natural talent will get you so far and the training will get her a little bit further. My guess for Bella is that she’ll make her break, she’ll create that for herself. She has a way of just drawing people to her and that is really special.”

Just before show time, Bella’s father and Tulalip tribal member Georgie Fryberg shared his excitement as the crowd began to take their seats.

“I’m totally nervous for her,” he exclaimed. “But, she’s been in the spotlight all of her life and done a lot of stage work before, so she’s ready for it. This is the start of her career, she wants to do this for the rest of her life. She’s still got a couple years in high school to work hard at it and I’m excited to see what she’s going to do.”

From the moment the curtains rose, to curtain call, the audience was completely engaged and thoroughly entertained, many surprised by the singing talents of the young students. Bella sang a number of solos, which blew the crowd away, including Amayzing Mayzie, How Lucky You Are, Mayzie in Palm Beach and Amayzing Horton. At the end of the play as she approached the stage to curtsy before the crowd, she was met with enormous applause from the audience.

“Wow, she was phenomenal wasn’t she? Such a great voice,” stated Arlington community member and theater lover Sharon Richardson who brought her mother, a huge Dr. Seuss fan, out to the show.

Bella with family at the Arlington High School Drama Club’s
opening night performance of Seussical the Musical.

“She was so good,” expressed Karen Fryberg, Tulalip tribal member and Bella’s grandmother. “I can’t believe that she would get up there in front of so many people, she’s always been like that though. She wants to study theater after she graduates. She did an amazing job tonight, I’m so proud of her. It’s neat that she’s got these goals and is actively working towards them. She’s a great student and I’m excited for her future.”

“You just got to shoot for it,” stresses Bella. “People will tell you that your dreams are too big – they’re never too big. Just go for it and work towards it. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s always worth it.”

You can catch Bella in Suessical the Musical on March 9 and 10 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center, located at Arlington High School. There will also be a special matinee performance on March 10 starting at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.ByrnesPerformingArts.org.

All That Glitters

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Imagine having your own personal galaxy that you can escape to when the world is too much to handle. Or when you’ve reached your boiling point and are on your last nerve, envision getting lost in colorful sparkles that slowly dissolve away the anger and stress after a meltdown. As a parent, imagine having a tool that helps calm your child and subconsciously focuses their breathing during a temper tantrum. Imagine having a portable device that helps reduce the anxieties of a child with autism or sensory processing difficulties, who feels over stimulated and upset in social settings. Now imagine that you’re able to easily craft your own galaxy that even the kids can assist with. Sounds like a fun project, right?

Tulalip Family Haven has been implementing this fun do-it-yourself craft, known as calming jars, at the end of their eleven-session parenting classes. They have been so popular during the parenting classes that the program wants to share the secrets of the jars with the community.

“After ten sessions of our parenting classes, our eleventh is our final review. We do a final talk and then make calming jars,” explains Family Voices Coordinator, Sasha Smith. “We give our families the tools to make a calming jar, which are plastic or glass jars that are filled with water, glue and glitter.  And when you shake it up, you’re supposed to take deep breaths and watch the jar for a minute or so. It helps the child calm down and even us as adults too. Instead of putting your child into timeout or sending them to their room, you can give them a calming jar when they’re upset.”

Calming jars are visually appealing and often unique to their makers, varying in different colors, shapes and glitter. The jars are extremely popular amongst parents on Pinterest, where there are many different techniques and ‘recipes’ you can tryout during your next family craft night, including Disney and Lego themed bottles.

Family Haven recommends using plastic water bottles for kids, especially babies, as well as hot-gluing the lids shut so kids don’t accidentally take a drink from the bottles. The mesmerizing calming jars are also great for adults and ought to come in handy when kept at your office desk.

“Calming jars are great and fun to make,” says Sasha. “They help children with sensory issues and help relieve some of that stress when a kid is overwhelmed. It’s a tool that we teach our parents and want to share with our community.”

Family Haven encourages crafters to watch “Just Breathe” by Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman on YouTube and have fun crafting.

For more information, please contact Family Haven at (360) 716-4402.

Young artists paint new spirit into Youth Center

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

In preparation for the C.R.E.A.T.E. Space (Calm Room & Expressive Art to Empower) grand opening event scheduled for Friday, February 9th from 11:30a.m. – 5:00p.m. at the Tulalip Youth Center, an art competition was held to determine which creative minds would paint new spirit into the blank canvas walls of the Youth Center’s second floor.

Over forty aspiring muralists from the Marysville School District submitted entries into the competition. The eight deserving winners were selected based on their best representations of local culture, wildlife, waterways, forests, mountains and daily life in our area. The eight artists were contacted and given the opportunity to paint their own ‘window scene’ that showcases a view from the Tulalip/Marysville area onto the walls that will house the C.R.E.A.T.E. Space.

“What we loved best about the submissions we received was the eclectic mix of styles and perspectives each child represented,” explained Monica Holmes, C.R.E.A.T.E. Space designer and Parapro for the M.S.P.I. Grant (Methamphetamine Suicide Prevention Initiative) through Behavioral Health and Youth Services

Each muralist used their original artwork as a jumping off point for their wall art or canvas. Prior to painting, Monica led a discussion about art mediums, like the various kinds of art materials and supplies used in artistic creation. Essentially, it’s whatever they wanted to use in order to make a mark upon a surface, such as ink, sharpies, colored pencil, pastels, watercolor, chalk or even crayon.

Under the guidance of Monica, the ambitious, young artists also looked at the types of paint brushes and discussed the merits of fan brushes and finer brushes versus large sponge brushes and the best applications for each. Like a scene from The Joy of Painting, the half-hour instructional TV show hosted by afro-sporting painter Bob Ross, the young artists in residence were allowed to let their imaginations run wild with creative inspiration.

After a short tutorial and healthy snack provided by the M.S.P.I. Grant and Youth Services, the eager youth selected their color palettes, artist tools, and set off to sketch their artwork on panels. For those who chose to do a window scene, pre-painted window grids were ready and waiting on the walls of the C.R.E.A.T.E. Space for the fledgling artists to fill with their creative images.

While some students chose a more traditional window scene, others typified a more abstract art style. One young man, J.J. Collins a 5th grader at Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary, created a scene that took on a unique interpretation of a flowering branch viewed from outside his bedroom window. Rather than a conventional sketch of a tree branch with well-defined flower petals, he turned it into an almost batik styled painting called “The Battle of Light and Dark.”

“By utilizing the pure elements of form, color, line, texture, pattern, composition and process, abstract artwork allows artists flexibility and freedom in expressing their world views and inner realities. J.J.’s art definitely struck a chord in our judges and I’m sure his art will do the same for all those who view it,” remarked Monica Holmes.

Alongside J.J., several classmates from Ms. Mejia’s 5th grade class at Quil Ceda also won the contest. Amos Carpenter, Kane Hatch, KayDee Wilson, Levi Degreave, and Emma B. also turned in stunning samples. KayDee, Kane and Amos drew wildlife in the traditional Salish style, while Levi, Emma, Noelani Cultee (4th grader at Pinewood Elementary) and Dylan Jones-Moses (5th grader at Sunnyside Elementary) created beautiful samples of everyday life and nature.

Dylan, grandson of Don Jones, and a member of the Suquamish tribe, accompanied by several members of his family who rooted him on while he painted, delivered a sweeping panoramic view of Mt. Pilchuck. “I like being outdoors and love animals. This view is of Mt. Pilchuck from my cabin nearby.” His mother, overjoyed to find out her son Dylan had won the art contest, said, “We were over the moon and super proud of Dylan for this accomplishment. The picture he drew has a lot of meaning to him. He’s an eagle chaser. He loves watching them and has spotted 50 so far.”

Nadine Foster, grandmother of Amos Carpenter, and Tulalip tribal member, was grateful for the opportunity for her grandchild to show off his artwork. “Many members of our family are artists; his grandpa, my daughter, and various grandchildren. They sit around my dining room table sometimes just creating art.” Amos, for his part, was excited to be chosen because, as he stated, “My family is really proud of me. My art has a lot of meaning about the Salish culture and people from here.”

Kane, also a Tulalip tribal member, said his art represents “the strength of my Grandma Molly. Even though she was a hummingbird, I drew her as wolf. My family always mentions her and how she would want me to do my art.”

KayDee said her “art makes her feel calm when [she’s] drawing it and looking at it.”

Emma B., a Kainai tribal member from South Dakota, explained her art panels “are the meaning of wild; fire, water, flowers blooming, rain. Fire can be angry, water calming, rain refreshing and the flowers, see how they are growing and spreading out? I’m glad I made my mark here, for others to see.”

Tulalip tribal member, Noelani Cultee, reminisced about her artwork being a memory of “what I saw on the beach when I was little. I drew the canoes rowing in an ‘S’ shape because my mom and dad told me stories about them.”

When asked what the symbols in his artwork represented, Levi said that the eagle “shows that Nature is strong. The drummers and people listening in the longhouse have their music go upwards, the background shows the cedar forests and snow in the mountains.” Levi would like the caption for his panel to read: “We Are All Together In One Place.”

“I couldn’t agree more with Levi’s caption, which is the purpose and beauty of the C.R.E.A.T.E. Space,” added Monica Holmes. “It’s a place where youth can be together, creating art to heal, to express what’s inside of them, to grow and to learn positive ways to be peaceful within themselves and among others.”

The children’s murals will be on permanent display at the C.R.E.A.T.E. Space, offering inspiration and a meditation outlet for any in need. The C.R.E.A.T.E. Space’s grand opening is on Friday, February 9th from 11:30a.m. – 5:00p.m., located on the 2nd floor of the Tulalip Youth Center. It’ll be open house style for the entire community. All are welcome to attend.