Schack Art Center Features Haida Art

Article and photos by Kalvin Valdillez

The National Basketry Organization (NBO) is a non-profit organization consisting of basket-makers, collectors, art gallery owners, students, schools and museums. Members from the organization recently traveled to the Northwest for a basketry conference held in Tacoma.

Fiber Artist, Jan Hopkins, wanted to host a Native American art gala at her home in Everett, for the NBO. Unfortunately, due to conflicting times, NBO members informed Jan that they would be unable to attend her event. The organization, however, originally scheduled time to tour Everett’s Schack Art Center, where Jan’s husband, Chris, frequently showcases his paintings. Jan contacted art collectors John Price and Nancy Kovalik as well as Haida Master Weaver, Lisa Telford, to see if they were interested in showcasing their Haida art collections at the Schack for the NBO.

With the art collectors and Lisa on board, the Art Center allowed Jan to guest curate Courtesy of: Extraordinary Basketry, Textiles and Sculptures from the Northwest Collections. The exhibit features paintings, carvings and weavings created by Haida artists Delores Churchill, Isabelle Rorick and Evelyn Vanderhoop – to name a few.

Lisa, who also works for the Tulalip TERO program, is a world renowned Haida Weaver. Her works are featured in museums nationwide including exhibits at the Burke Museum in Seattle, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

“[Weaving] is my thread to sanity,” states Lisa. “When my older brother passed, the first person in my family to pass away that affected me, I didn’t weave for about six months. When I started weaving again, I went to work on Monday and everybody asked ‘what happened to you’ and when I said nothing, they said ‘yeah, something life changing happened to you this weekend because you’re glowing.’ I feel like it keeps me grounded and it makes me happy, so I just say it’s my thread to sanity, when I do it I’m happy, I don’t know how else to say it.”

“I come from a family of weavers; everybody wove,” continued Lisa. “My grandmother wanted to teach me when I was thirteen, but when you’re thirteen you’re too busy running around to settle down. My grandmother sat me down and said ‘I want to show you something,’ and I said ‘I don’t have time for that.’ I always regretted that. After she passed away, I moved to Washington and joined a dance group and I wore her hat. People would ask ‘where’d you get that hat?’ and when I said my grandma, they asked ‘can she could make any more?’ That’s what made me start weaving. I realized that I took it all for granted. I told my mom and she called my auntie and shortly after that I started apprenticing for my aunt Dolores.”

Lisa created six weavings for the exhibit. Her art submissions include a big spoon basket, a traditional hat, two small baskets as well as two pairs of cedar high heel shoes.

“I think it was probably in 1999, this fellow from the Heard Museum asked me if I would give a pair of shoes for this show called Sole Stories,” explains Lisa.

After trial and error, she created a pair of high heels, using BBs and a dress weight to shape the shoes. When submitting the shoes, the museum was shocked by her invention.

“I brought them to the show, the guy goes ‘Oh my God! I didn’t know you were going to make a pair of shoes. I didn’t even know that was possible! I meant a pair of your personal shoes.’ Now people keep wanting the shoes, even after I say I’m done with it. Every time I think I’m done, they pull me back in,” she states.

Many of the works that were provided by the art collectors, were weaved by Lisa’s family members.

“It really could be called my family’s show because the person who wove the tunic was my cousin Evelyn, the person who wove the canoe cape was my cousin Holly and the person who wove the robe was my aunt Dolores,” Lisa exclaimed.

The Courtesy of: Extraordinary Basketry, Textiles and Sculptures from the Northwest Collections exhibit is featured until July 29 at the Schack Art Center., 2921 Hoyt Ave, Everett, WA 98201. For additional information, please visit www.Schack.org

Cultural imPRINT: Northwest Coast Prints exhibition showcased at Tacoma Art Museum

Robert Davidson (b. 1946)
Haida First Nation
Untitled (Sara’s Birth Announcement), 1973
Screenprint

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

For generations, Coast Salish and First Nations artists developed visual language made up of colors, lines, shapes and space. These centuries-old designs can be recognized on cultural objects including basketry, carving, blankets and jewelry. When Coast Salish artists began printmaking in the 1960s, they translated their graphic languages onto a flat surface. The reproducible print medium raised visibility for Indigenous arts in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Susan Point and Kelly Cannell
Coast Salish, Musqueam First Nation
Memory, 2005 Screenprint
*This mother-daughter collaboration won the City of Vancouver’s “Art Underfoot” competition in 2004. The design can be found on storm sewer covers throughout the Vancouver area.

The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) is currently showcasing the vast styles of printmaking by tribal artists in its Cultural imPrint: Northwest Coast Prints exhibit. Reminding us of the local talent and cultural beauty inherent in works by artists from various First Nations and Native tribes along the Pacific Coast, you can take advantage of this special exhibition by visiting TAM now through August 20.

Faith Brower, TAM’s Curator of Western American Art, has partnered with co-curator India Young from Victoria, B.C. to bring together a selection of approximately 46 prints by 30 Coast Salish and Fist Nations artists.

Ben Davidson (b. 1976)
Haida First Nation
Just About, 2014 Screenprint

“This exhibition is really about how artists create community through their work,” said co-curator India Young. “Artists visualize their nationhood and territory. Cultural knowledge and design are passed from print to print and generation to generation. Prints circulate a sense of belonging.”

Providing a survey of Indigenous artists who have defined six-decades of printmaking in the Pacific Northwest, this exhibition proudly boasts a cultural narrative. Through their prints, these artists share knowledge about the diverse cultures in the region, while sustaining their art and history. Some of this artwork focuses on culturally specific design motifs that can identify a nation or tribe within the region. Others affirm how artists have used the print medium to reexamine the role of women’s histories with Northwest Coast communities. Still other works illuminate the passion of knowledge between generations.

Lyle Wilson (b. 1955)
Haisla First Nation
When Worlds Collide, 1979
Screenprint

“What’s fascinating about this exhibition is the various interpretations of cultural symbols,” states co-curator Faith Brower. “These print works connect people in new ways to vibrant Northwest communities.”

Much of the printmaking from the Northwest Coast can be immediately recognized by the high contrast, black and red graphics. Indigenous printmaking in the region continues to be exploratory and innovative while adhering to traditional teachings. Through the print medium artists expand on their visual languages to create works that broaden the scope of Northwest Coast art.

Ken Mowatt (b. 1944)
Gitxsan First Nation
Legend of the Avenged Flea, 1975
Screenprint

Ken Mowatt (b. 1944)
Gitxsan First Nation
Lynx’ Ooy’, 1980
Screenprint

Art of the Future Generation

Tulalip Youth Services hosts Annual Native American Student Art Festival

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Excitement filled the air of the Don Hatch Youth Center, which was briefly transformed into an art gala, on April 20, for the annual Native American Student Art Festival. Various works were on display including poetry, self and family portraits as well as an array of traditional Native American art including paddles, blankets, beaded regalia and cedar woven baskets.

The festival is open to all Tulalip tribal members between kindergarten and the twelfth grade, as well as students of other tribal nations who attend the Marysville School District. Students are able to submit one art project for each category – culture, mixed media, painting, sculpture, digital art, writing, new media and drawing. Awards are presented for first, second and third place, as well as for honorable mentions, to each grade for every category.

Art has been an essential necessity to the Native American culture since time immemorial. Coast Salish ancestors utilized their natural resources to create art such as masks, blankets, drums and rattles for ceremonial purposes; as well as for tools, for everyday use, like hats, baskets, canoes and paddles.

With over a whopping one thousand art submissions this year, the event continues to provide the young Indigenous Picassos with the opportunity to express their creativity and showcase their talents to their community. Often participants will submit a project for each category, like Taylee Warbus, who was awarded six ribbons in total – three of them being the highly coveted first place blue ribbon.

10th grade student Selena Fryberg reconnects with her ancestry while drawing a portrait of her late grandmother Catherine Rivera.

Many students reconnect with their culture while preparing their projects for the festival. This year, tenth grade student and multiple prizewinner Selena Fryberg reconnected with her ancestry while drawing a portrait of her late grandmother Catherine Rivera. Selena states, “She passed away before I was born, but people always say I get my talent from her. I feel like I got to know my grandma a little better while drawing her for [the art festival].”

If you missed the opportunity to experience the student art exhibit, don’t fret because the winning masterpieces will be on display exclusively at the Hibulb Cultural Center until Friday May 5, 2017.

Agency to remove art by Native American activist prisoner Leonard Peltier

A woman reads a description of Leonard Peltier's oil painting, "Steve Reevis," center on wall in 2001. Peltier is serving two consecutive life terms for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.A woman reads a description of Leonard Peltier's oil painting, "Steve Reevis," center on wall in 2001. Peltier is serving two consecutive life terms for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

A woman reads a description of Leonard Peltier’s oil painting, “Steve Reevis,” center on wall in 2001. Peltier is serving two consecutive life terms for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

The Associated Press 

 

TUMWATER, WASH. – A Washington state agency plans to remove four paintings by an inmate serving time for killing two FBI agents after former law enforcement officers complained about the artwork’s inclusion in a lobby art exhibit.

The paintings were done in prison by Leonard Peltier, 71, a Native American activist who is serving two consecutive life sentences in the deaths of two FBI agents during a 1975 standoff on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The works were hanging near the front doors of the state Department of Labor and Industries’ headquarters in Tumwater, Washington, and part of an exhibit to mark National American Indian Heritage Month, KING-TV in Seattle reported (http://goo.gl/ckVGrA ).

An association representing retired FBI agents demanded the state agency remove the paintings.

“He’s nothing but a thug,” said retired FBI agent Ray Lauer. “He’s an unrepentant cop killer.”

Lauer is a member of the Retired FBI Agents Association, which wrote a letter to Labor and Industries demanding the paintings be removed.

“For the state of Washington to use taxpayers’ dollars to basically offer a free art gallery to somebody who is a convicted cop killer, I find it, as a law enforcement officer, appalling and quite frankly disgusting as taxpayer also,” Lauer said.

The state agency said it will replace the paintings this week with other artwork.

Displaying the work wasn’t meant as an endorsement of Peltier’s cause, said Tim Church, a state Labor and Industries spokesman. It was simply meant to be about Native American art, he said.

“We feel badly about the impressions that they’re taking from it. We truly do. That was in no way our intent,” Church said.

Peltier’s case has been a source of protest over the decades.

His son, Chauncey Peltier, said there is no evidence his father killed anyone. He has been exhibiting his father’s paintings around the country to raise awareness about his father’s attempt to gain a presidential pardon.

Indigenous Futures: Fine art and stories, one comic at a time

Noel Franklin, cartoonist, print maker, poet, fundraiser, activist.Photo Courtesy of Noel Franklin.

Noel Franklin, cartoonist, print maker, poet, fundraiser, activist.
Photo Courtesy of Noel Franklin.

 

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

 

Recently, the Seattle Art Museum presented PechaKucha Seattle volume 63, titled Indigenous Futures. PechaKuchas are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and present their ideas, works, thoughts – just about anything, really – in fun, relaxed spaces that foster an environment of learning and understanding. It would be easy to think PechaKuchas are all about the presenters and their presentation, but there is something deeper and a more important subtext to each of these events. They are all about togetherness, about coming together as a community to reveal and celebrate the richness and dimension contained within each one of us. They are about fostering a community through encouragement, friendship and celebration.

The origins of PechaKucha Nights stem from Tokyo, Japan and have since gone global; they are now happening in over 700 cities around the world. What made PechaKucha Night Seattle volume 63 so special was that it was comprised of all Native artists, writers, producers, performers, and activists presenting on their areas of expertise and exploring the realm of Native ingenuity in all its forms, hence the name Indigenous Futures.

 

comic 3

 

“If we are going to talk about Indigenous Culture, then we have to talk about representing ourselves. It is important for Native Americans to take over that part of representation. I do that through my comics.”

 

Noel Franklin is many things; a cartoonist, a print maker, a poet, a fundraiser and an activist. She worked with the United Indians of All Tribes Foundations, a foundation to serve as a focal point for the renewal and regeneration of Native Americans in the Greater Seattle area and beyond, to include the Northwest Native Canoe Center in the Lake Union Park masterplan. The Canoe Center will be an active cultural center where hands-on experiences teach visitors about Native American life while supporting the ongoing vibrancy of canoe culture traditions for present and future generations.

Noel’s comics have been published in more than five countries, and she is the first female artist to win the Emerald City Comic Con ‘I Heart Comics Art’ award. Noel’s current day job is at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“My father’s family is Eastern Band Cherokee and my mother’s family is from Scotland,” explains Noel. “My father joined the military like many male Native Americans, not too many options out there when you don’t have an education. I got to enjoy the poverty and intergenerational PTSD that so many of us are familiar with. As a youth I moved around so much because of the military that I was unable to really know my grandparents who spoke the Cherokee language and really lived their culture.”

Because of her father’s military career, Noel was constantly on the move from city to city. She was unable to make roots in any one location and felt isolated from her Native heritage. Her internal angst and loneliness would manifest itself on her canvas of choice, varying from paper for drawing and painting to stone-cold metal used for art welding.

“I art welded my way to a fine arts degree from Western Washington University,” says Noel. “Back then, in 1994, I didn’t think I knew who I was, but when I look back at my art I was painting and welding figures of crows, beetles and trees. I was talking to nature even though I didn’t know how to talk to nature. How did I know how to be Native when I was denied the ability? I continued to make art that reflected my pain of not knowing my own history and also the violence that came by growing up in a family that had multiple generations of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, I started learning about my Native culture and celebrating it as I learned.”

 

Comic 1

 

As she dedicated herself to learning about her Native heritage and the culture she was denied as a youth, Noel began to see the world differently. She looked at the world of art and representation through the eyes of a Native woman. She became self-conscious of a key theme that is prominent in the Native American resurgence; the misinterpretations of Native values and identity that act as continued colonization over Native peoples.

“So why do I now represent my culture through comics? Do you remember Peter Pan? I used to think I liked that movie, but as I grew older and learned of my heritage something changed,” recalls Noel. “I watched Peter Pan as an adult and was beyond offended at the ‘What Made the Red Man Red’ scene. I had to rethink a lot of things. If we are going to talk about Indigenous Culture, then we have to talk about representing ourselves. It is important for Native Americans to take over that part of representation. I do that through my comics.”

 

comic 4

 

Noel attributes her unique style, building dark and light shapes from densely knotted lines, to her experience with stone lithography.  She also feels that gutters between panels keep the viewer from total immersion in the world she invents in her stories.  In addition to creating Gone Girl Comics, she is a regular contributor to inkart.org and has multiple journal and anthology publications. Presently, Noel is working towards creating her first graphic novel.

“Page four of a story called Seagulls Screaming is about how Native American culture is present and visible in Seattle,” said Noel. “Native American culture is not going anywhere. You might recognize the totem pole from Victor Steinbrueck Park, located just on the outside of Pike Place Market.

“If I can leave you with anything at all it’s this: we can shape the physical Seattle, but until we shape our own lives by owning our own representation and telling our own stories, which will strengthen not only ourselves but others, we’re going to end up with ‘Why Is the Red Man Red’ for the rest of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in that at all.”

 

comic 5

Indigenous Futures: keeping the past alive

Four-side drum.Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

Four-side drum.
Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

Recently, the Seattle Art Museum presented PechaKucha Seattle volume 63, titled “Indigenous Futures.” PechaKuchas are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and present their ideas, works, thoughts – just about anything, really – in fun, relaxed spaces that foster an environment of learning and understanding. It would be easy to think PechaKuchas are all about the presenters and their presentation, but there is something deeper and a more important subtext to each of these events. They are all about togetherness, about coming together as a community to reveal and celebrate the richness and dimension contained within each one of us. They are about fostering a community through encouragement, friendship and celebration.

The origins of PechaKucha Nights stem from Tokyo, Japan and have since gone global; they are now happening in over 700 cities around the world. What made PechaKucha Night Seattle volume 63 so special was that it was comprised of all Native artists, writers, producers, performers, and activists presenting on their areas of expertise and exploring the realm of Native ingenuity in all its forms, hence the name Indigenous Futures.

Joe Seymour, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe, is geoduck harvester and a leader of his canoe family, but most importantly he is a Coast Salish artist who works with a vast array of mediums. He has demonstrated his artistic touch with blown glass, etched glass, prints, wood, Salish wool weaving, canvas and traditional rawhide drums. His ancestral name, wahalatsu?, was given to him by his family in 2003. Wahalatsu? was the name of his great-grandfather William Bagley.

 

Faith, Wisdom and Strength. Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

Faith, Wisdom and Strength.
Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

 

Seymour started his artistic career by carving his first paddle for the 2003 Tribal Journey to Tulalip. Also, in 2003, he carved his first bentwood box. After the Tulalip journey, he really began to focus on his artistic abilities he found were coming so natural him. After learning how to stretch and make traditional rawhide drums, Seymour pushed his creative limits even further by learning how to pull a four-sided drum. The inspiration for learning the four-sided drum method came from his uncle Phil and the late Makah hereditary chief, Lester Hamilton Greene.

“One of the reasons I wanted to work with so many mediums is that all of them together encompass what Coast Salish culture is to me,” explains Seymour of his diversity of art mediums. “We talk about indigenous futures and right now I’m focused on taking the Coast Salish culture into the future by keeping its past alive. I do this by bringing it into the modern world by my weaving, by my drawing, by my painting…I do that with the paddles that I carve.

There aren’t many people who can pull a four-sided drum. I’ve only seen maybe three other people who can do it. If you ever want to learn or know someone who wants to learn, please let me know as I’m more than willing to share our cultural knowledge. Artistic methods are a critical part of our culture and I believe they should be shared willingly, not just held hostage by any single individual.”

 

Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

 

Since discovering his inner artist by way of the 2003 Tribal Journey to Tulalip, Seymour has gone on to participate in the international gathering of Indigenous Artists, PIKO 2007, in Hawaii, and he also participated in the Te Tihi, 4th Gathering of Indigenous Visual Artists, in Rotorua, New Zealand, in 2010.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunities to travel the world and meet fellow indigenous; to see and share our cultures via artistic expression,” says Seymour. “The indigenous future of the peoples in the Pacific Northwest is very bright. We have such a wonderful array of spirit, tradition, and pride.

In my career, I’ve worked with glass, photography, Salish wool weaving, prints, wood, and rawhide drums. I’ve been very fortunate to have a community of artists that I’m able to work with and who are very supportive of my career. If it were not for their caring and sharing of ideas, I would not be the artist that I am today. I hope that as I continue in my artistic career, I can pass on the teachings and nurturing spirit that have been shown to me.”

Siblings. Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

Siblings.
Photo courtesy of Joe Seymour

 

Tulalip News visits the Burke Museum, and so should you!

Traditional inspirations, modern expressions

 

Burke_7

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

 

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Burke Museum, located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, is currently showcasing their Native American artwork exhibit Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired. The exhibit is on display through July 27, 2015.

Here & Now showcases how today’s artists learn from past generations. According to Burke curators, the exhibit features 30 new works by contemporary Native artists, paired with historic pieces from the Burke Museum that artists identified as key to their learning.

“One can never be done learning,” explains esteemed Tsimshian artist David R. Boxley of Metlakatla, Alaska. “I want to see every piece I can of the old masters. They are my teachers and this is the only way I can learn from them.”

 

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

Over the past ten years, the Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum has awarded grants to over 90 artists and scholars providing access to the Burke Museum’s collections. To gauge the real-world effects that their grants had on recipients, the Burke contacted each of their grantees and invited then to share how their artistic practice was affected by their study at the UW. Many of the grantee artists conveyed messages about how new pieces they had made were inspired by the historical artworks they had come into contact with at the museum. Each artist identified one key piece that influenced them, which are now on display next to each artist’s modern day interpretation of the artwork.

“It’s great to go and study the old pieces, to look at them, and hold them. You feel the energy. You can’t get over the quality, the detail, in the pieces. They’re some of the best teachers you get,” explains Latham Mack, Bill Holm grantee and Nuxalk artist from an Indigenous First Nation in Canada.

 

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

The Burke made the statement: Ours is a working collection, serving artists and scholars who forge connections with these artworks to maintain a continuum of knowledge and creativity that spans the generations.

For more information about the Burke Museum, including daily hours, admission costs, location and directions, please visit www.burkemuseum.org or call Burke Reception at (206) 543-7907.

 

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

Photo/Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

 

 

Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Art Talk: We Got Styles!

Conversations on Northwest Native Art

David Boxley. Photo davidboxley.com.

David Boxley.
Photo davidboxley.com.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Over the weekend of March 27-29, the University of Washington held ArtTalk: Conversations on Northwest Native Art. The event was free for all to attend and join leading scholars and Native American/First Nations artists as they presented and discussed current trends and recent research on the distinctive art traditions of our region. They examined the last fifty years of Northwest Coast art, as marked by the 50th anniversary volume of Bill Holm’s influential book, Northwest Coast Indian Art: Analysis of Form, and look forward to the next fifty years in an art form that is just as thriving and innovative as the cultures it stems from.

So what’s the point of studying all the northwest coast styles? Most objects were removed from their sources and were not well documented. They often reside in museum collections with little to no documentation, or documentation that is misleading or incorrect. The pure analysis of forms of objects that have been removed from their cultural context is precisely so that these objects can be reconnected with their cultures. By studying styles it’s possible to determine where on the coast an object originated. Sometimes being able to determine with some certainty who the artist was and what their names were even when documentation is missing or incorrect.

The symposium began on Friday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. with a keynote program by Dr. Robin Wright and artists Qwalsius Shaun Peterson (Puyallup/Tulalip) and David R. Boxley (Tsimshian) discussing the past 50 years of Northwest Coast Native art, including the impact of Bill Holm’s influential book.

Boxley has spent his life researching and practicing northern Northwest Coast style, the Tsimshian language and dance, and in particular the subtleties and variations of the Tsimshian art style he has come to master. Boxley just returned from Juneau, Alaska where he and his father, David A. Boxley, have installed the first fully carved and painted Tsimshian house-front in modern time. It is one of the largest, if not the largest, carved-and-painted Tsimshian house front in the world.

“If the art is going to move forward then we have to get back to where it was when it got stuck,” says Boxley, referring to the period that Native American culture was banned when the missionaries and boarding schools took root. “Once we can understand, to the best of our abilities, how things went together before that era then whatever comes next will be the natural progression. So the art, this very visual thing that our people could grab onto and be proud of, is what led to the revival of our culture. Now that the art has reached the point where quality is really being pushed, maintaining a certain quality that the collections market pushed to create, we’ve really been able to bring a lot of our culture back.

“The thing for us now is to make sure it’s attached to what we are doing culturally. Because the art nearly preceded our modern cultural practices, we now have to assign meaning and the depth of it all into our everyday lives. It’s been a really long journey and something I am very honored to be a part of it. We all find reasons to do what we do. There’s the pride we feel in reclaiming what belongs to us, and then there’s the simple things like knowing if we work hard our ancestors will be proud of us.”

 

Shaun Peterson Photo nativex.com.

Shaun Peterson
Photo nativex.com.

 

Peterson is a Puyallup and Tulalip artist who carves, paints and works in many forms in digital media. Peterson is a pivotal figure in contemporary Coast Salish art traditions, and has major installations throughout the Northwest, ranging from works created in wood, glass and metal. Just last month Peterson was chosen by Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for the tribal commission on the new Seattle waterfront. Peterson is also a founding member of the Bill Holm Center’s advisory board and in 2014 published an essay titled Coast Salish Design: an anticipated southern analysis.

“I’ve studied Salish artwork very intently now for twenty years, and having these intense conversations with masters of their craft. It’s through those conversations, the oral tradition of our culture, looking at things and observing these things that have been so important in sustaining and advancing our culture,” Peterson says of stretching the limits of styles and breaking out of limitations and expectations while honoring our ancestors. “Our culture reflects and informs what we make. There are fewer examples of southern Northwest Coast work because for a very long time our art was strictly created for ceremony and inner-tribal use, not for collecting and public consumption. What’s changed in the last fifteen to twenty years is that our people are more free to create work in the public realm and as more artists master their craft the boundaries of what we know to be traditional guidelines will continue to be pushed.”

 

To see the stunning visual displays that these two well renowned Native American artists, please visit their websites:

Shaun Peterson, http://www.qwalsius.com/

David R. Boxley, http://davidrobertboxley.com/

 

Contact Micheal Rios, mrios@tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Shaun Peterson, Puyallup, Tapped to Make Public Art on Seattle Waterfront

The 'Welcome Figure,' spuy'elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, created by Shaun Peterson.

The ‘Welcome Figure,’ spuy’elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, created by Shaun Peterson.

 

Indian Country Today

 

Shaun Peterson, Puyallup, has been selected for a commission on the Seattle Waterfront. Peterson’s art is a showcase of Coast Salish traditions for the modern world, and he’s experienced in creating public installations. After the announcement, he took to his blog at Qwalsius.com:

I wouldn’t have foreseen this coming if you had asked me but it is here and it is now. I hope to make the most of this opportunity and showcase that Coast Salish culture is alive and well. That it is deserving of the land on which it comes from and that it will, as all art does, adapt to the world around it and will continue to thrive as long as the people exist in its region. As Chief Sealth once said long, when people believe our people have vanished we will be among you… something like that, I’m paraphrasing of course but the gist is, my art and others of Coast Salish heritage are making public works that will continue to be standing long after we have gone, and there is something to say for that. Today, I am overjoyed with the task ahead of me.

Below are a video portrait of Peterson, examples of his public art, and the full press release from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture:

Artist biography Qwalsius – Shaun Peterson from Shaun Peterson on Vimeo.

 

Salmon Continuum Bus Shelter, Tacoma Washington, by Shaun Peterson
Salmon Continuum Bus Shelter, Tacoma Washington, by Shaun Peterson

 

 

Welcome Figure, spuy'elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.
Welcome Figure, spuy’elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.

 

 

Welcome Figure (night), spuy'elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.
Welcome Figure (night), spuy’elepebS near Tollefson Plaza, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.

 

 

Killer Whale (Aluminum), Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.
Killer Whale (Aluminum), Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, Tacoma, Washington, by Shaun Peterson.

 

 

From the Natural World, Puyallup Tribe Elders Building, Tacoma, Washingto, by Shaun Peterson.
From the Natural World, Puyallup Tribe Elders Building, Tacoma, Washingto, by Shaun Peterson.

 

 

SEATTLE (March 25, 2015) — The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is pleased to announce that artist Shaun Peterson, of Milton, WA, has been selected for a commission on the Seattle Waterfront. Peterson is a pivotal figure in contemporary Coast Salish art traditions, and is a member of the Puyallup tribe. He has major installations throughout the Northwest, ranging from works created in wood, glass and metal.

“This is an historic opportunity to have an artwork by a Native artist on our Waterfront,” says Mayor Murray. “Peterson’s artwork will be a tribute to the cultural significance of the waterfront to the Coast Salish first peoples and our city. The waterfront will finally reflect the origins of our vibrant City and also the many peoples who made this region what it is today—one of the fastest growing in the nation.”

This commission, undertaken in partnership with the Office of the Waterfront and Seattle Department of Transportation, sought an artist to create an artwork that recognizes the tribal peoples of this regionfor Seattle’s Central Waterfront project. Peterson will work with the city and its design team to develop a site-specific artwork or artist designed space that reflects the Coast Salish tribes that have a historic connection to this territory. The budget for the project, inclusive of artist fees, is $250,000.

“Seattle is named after our Coast Salish Chief, and in honor of that I hope that my work will demonstrate that Native art is not static,” says Peterson. “Our people are part of this land and its history, but most importantly we are part of the present. The art I create will aim to communicate that, and in the process, create space for dialogue.”

“Shaun’s work embraces new interpretations of traditional designs, and his facility in blending both the traditional tribal art forms along with contemporary elements and materials makes him the ideal artist to envision the Coast Salish presence on the waterfront,” says Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Program Director. “We are incredibly excited to have Peterson create a permanent artwork that will be reflective of the Coast Salish peoples and the region.”

Waterfront Seattle is the large-scale project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with 26 acres of new public space, streets, parks, and buildings. The public piers will be rebuilt as part of the Seawall Bond passed by voters in 2012. Peterson’s first major public installation was a 37 foot story pole for Chief Leschi School in 1996; it was quickly followed by commissions in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington.  He continues to explore the future possibilities of indigenous art traditions.

Peterson joins artists Cedric Bomford, Ann Hamilton, Norie Sato, Buster Simpson, Oscar Tuazon and Stephen Vitiello in creating a permanent artwork which will transform the waterfront. This roster of diverse artists will help to create a sense of place on the renewed waterfront that will act as an invitation to residents and visitors alike.

About Shaun Peterson
Shaun Peterson is a pivotal figure in the revival of Coast Salish art traditions. An enrolled member of the Puyallup tribe, and also affiliated with the Tulalip tribe, Peterson carries the name Qwalsius, originally carried by his great grandfather, Lawrence Williams. The name has been translated in two possible meanings as the Lushootseed language spoken by many Western Washington tribes has become scarce. The first translation is “Painted Face” and the second is “Traveling to the face of Enlightenment.”

Peterson is a Native American artist producing work that is a continuation of the ancient art of the Northwest Coast first peoples. While knowledgeable and invested in diverse tribal styles and applications, his focus and expertise is the art of the Southern regions that encompass the many tribes of Western Washington and Southern British Columbia known as Salish territory. Shaun’s artistic career began under the guidance of key mentors in the field of Northwest Coast art including master artists Steve Brown, Greg Colfax (Makah), George David (Nuu-chah-nulth), and Loren White.

Selection panel members and advisors:

Panelists
Tina Jackson, Cultural Activities Coordinator/ Kate Ahvakana, Suquamish Tribe
Barbara Brotherton, curator of Native American Art, Seattle Art Museum
Patti Gobin, Tulalip Tribes
Candice Hopkins, curator, University of New Mexico, Carcross/Tagish
Warren KingGeorge, historian, Muckleshoot Tribe
Cary Moon, urban designer
Eric Robertson, artist, Métis/Gitksan

Advisors
Heather Johnson-Jock, artist and Tribal Council Secretary, S’Klallam Tribe
Guy Michaelson, Berger Partnership
Steve Pearce, Office of the Waterfront
Tracy Rector, Seattle Art Commission
Denise Stiffarm, Urban Indians, Gros Ventre (A’aninin/White Clay)
Ken Workman, Duwamish Tribe
Nicole Willis, Tribal Relations Director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations

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Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/03/shaun-peterson-puyallup-tapped-make-public-art-seattle-waterfront-159871

UW Bothell empowers Native American students to plan for college

Photo/Micheal Rios

Photo/Micheal Rios

 

by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The University of Washington Bothell held its 3rd annual Reaching American Indian Nations (RAIN) event Friday, February 6. It was a day dedicated to preparing American Indian, Alaskan Native, and First Nations students with the tools necessary to access higher education. Students interacted with UW Bothell and Cascadia College students, staff and faculty, engaged with speakers, and participated in cultural and educational workshops.

Native high school students and faculty from Native American educational programs from all across Washington State were invited to attend RAIN 2015. Amongst those who attended were tribal students from Tulalip, Puyallup, Yakima, Port Gamble S’Klallam, La Conner, Central Kitsap, Edmonds Indian program, and representatives from Tacoma.

“We have created this culturally relevant event where we can bring amazing people out to speak on all the reasons you, as a Native American high school student, should go to college, and to explain why higher education is important as a Native American person. How can you use it to connect to your community or be more a part of your community or work for your community,” explains Rachael Meares, Native American Outreach Coordinator for UW Bothell. “We just hope that they get that idea here. It doesn’t matter if they want to attend this campus or another college. We invite Northwest Indian College out and we have Cascadia College here, so they can see their college options. We just want them to think about planning for college.”

This year’s RAIN attendance was by far the highest in its history. In 2013, the first year RAIN was held, only  Tulalip Heritage high school students were participants. The following year there were roughly 55-60 students from tribes all over the state. This year the attendance nearly doubled with an estimated 110 Native students participating.

The inspiration that led to UW Bothell creating RAIN three years ago happened right here on the Tulalip Reservation. It was during a routine admission workshop that Rachael Meares was undertaking at Tulalip Heritage High School that inspiration struck. The junior and senior high school students at Tulalip Heritage were so eager to participate in her workshop and to learn of the opportunities available at UW Bothell that Meares thought it would be really beneficial for the students to spend a day at the UW Bothell campus, participating in various workshops,  exploring and learning about the campus, and receiving an alternative college perspective that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them here on the reservation.

A few months later, the entire Tulalip Heritage High School student body, with chaperoning teachers, spent a day at the UW Bothell campus learning about the university and opportunities available only a short thirty minute drive south on I-5. That day marked the first culturally relevant outreach event for Native American students, which was given the name Reaching American Indian Nations, or more commonly referred to as RAIN. The next year Meares and her colleagues from the UW Bothell Division of Enrollment Management extended invites to Tulalip Heritage and other tribal schools across Washington. The event has continued to grow with an increasing number of tribal students attending and more workshops being offered.

“Before RAIN our Native American student admission numbers were like five, six, or ten some years. Now we have eighty-three Native American students enrolled and attending UW Bothell. Our Native American student population has grown a lot over the last few years and we want to continue building upon that momentum RAIN has given us,” states Meares, who also carries the title of Admissions Advisor and Recruiter for UW Bothell.

At this year’s RAIN event the keynote speaker was the Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club, and member of the Pawnee tribe, Colleen Echohawk who gave a very passionate speech to her tribal student audience. Echohawk told her story of growing up in remote Alaska, not just living off the land but living with it, and how attending college opened up opportunities she had never imagined.

“Be brave, be strong, be bold and stay connected. You are the indigenous voice and are on a hero’s journey,” Echohawk said to the tribal students in their pursuit of higher education. “We are not just surviving, we are thriving.”

After a light breakfast, introductions of the coordinating event staff, and the keynote speech, the students chose two out of five available on-site workshops to attend. Keeping the idea of cultural relevancy in play, each workshop was specifically tailored to the Native American student pursuing higher education. The workshops were also led by a Native American staff members of UW Bothell.

“Paying for College” Financial Aid and Funding Resources workshop was led by Danette Iyall (Nez Perce), Director of Financial Aid. This workshop provided a unique opportunity for the students to meet with UW Bothell’s Director of Financial Aid to learn about the many ways to fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans and more. Students were introduced to the FAFSA as well as University funding resources such as the Husky Promise.

“Airplanes” Opportunities at Boeing workshop was led by Dr. Deanna Kennedy (Cherokee), UW Bothell Assistant Professor. This workshop allowing the tribal students to experience the interactive UW Bothell student classroom. Students got a feel of the UW Bothell classroom lecture about Boeing productions processes and learned first-hand about academic approaches in the School of Business and career pathways.

“Pathways to College” was led by Sara Gomez Taylor, Cascadia College Outreach Specialist. Students learned about the admissions process and the vast opportunities for academic growth from representatives from three college settings; 2-year institution, 4-year institution, and Tribal College.

UW Bothell Wetlands Tour was led by Alice Tsoodle (Kiowa), Islandwood Instructor and UW Bothell Alum. Students learned about the restoration design and how the campus and students have influenced the UW Bothell ecosystem. Participants left with a better understanding of how this campus resource is used in the classroom.

The fifth workshop offered was the Campus Tour led by current UW Bothell students. The campus visitors got to see all that UW Bothell has to offer thought current student perspective; classrooms, café’s, housing, sports field, library, and much more. A highlight of the campus tour was a walkthrough of the 3-story high student library. The UW Bothell student library features Native American artwork from tribal artists near and far. For the students participating in the tour they were happy to see artwork from their culture being so stunningly displayed throughout the campus library.

Among the tribal student attendees was Oceana Alday, Tulalip tribal member and current senior at Marysville Getchell High School. She is also a Running Start student in her 3rd quarter at Northwest Indian College. Alday expressed her enthusiasm for RAIN and hopes more Tulalip high school students attend in the future.

“Attending RAIN, I think Tulalip high school students could learn that there are college alternatives other than attending EvCC or NWIC,” says Alday. “They can consider their options at UW Bothell and Cascadia College. We have a few tribal members who attend UW and WSU, so I think they can see other options besides those close to the reservation.”

 

Contact Micheal Rios at tulaliptribes-nsn.gov