Traditional inspirations, modern expressions
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.”
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.
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.
Contact Micheal Rios, email@example.com