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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

 

 
 

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Stonington rekindles spirit of Northwest Native American art

 
 

by Victoria Josslin - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

 
 

credits: photo 1: Evening Star Drum, Allie High, Haida/Aleut/Tsimshian Nations, elk hide, maple, pigments, 15" diameter, 3" depth; photo2: Shaman's Box, Luke Marston, Chemainus Nation, yellow cedar, operculum, abalone, pigments, 21" x 12.5" x 12.5"

 

Evening Star Drum, Allie High, Haida/Aleut/Tsimshian Nations, elk hide, maple, pigments, 15" diameter, 3" depthStonington Gallery has organized an exhibition of work by 14 young Native American artists, most in their 20s. Many of these artists have studied with older masters, and the work looks very accomplished and (at first) very traditional.

The strong graphic quality of formline drawing translates easily into many media, from the carved wood rattles of John Marston and the silver jewelry of Jay Simeon and Dan Wallace to the carved and painted boxes by Moy Sutherland.

Formline drawing also translates easily to other graphic, non-Native media. We've seen so many beautifully designed and brilliantly colored serigraphs (silk-screen prints) from Native American artists that it, too, almost seems a traditional medium. Well-known local artists Marvin Oliver and Preston Singletary, among others, have used glass to extend the range of formline media.

Shaman's Box, Luke Marston, Chemainus Nation, yellow cedar, operculum, abalone, pigments, 21" x 12.5" x 12.5"In this show, Nuu-Chah-Nulth artist Moy Sutherland shows both skilled woodcarving and serigraphs. Non-Native artist Frank Woll contributes a riveting three-minute animation, "Cosmology of Scale," based on formline drawing. He writes, "I'm amazed at the ability of this Northwest Coast art style to stand steadfast and with such integrity of form under the light of modern technology." Woll states that the form is revealed to be "of a fractal math," and for all I know he may be right.

Several of the artists are Native Americans from more remote tribes. Susan Pavel, for instance, is a Hawaiian married to a member of the Skokomish tribe. She has studied with Skokomish weavers and exhibits several pieces here, including a classic Salish vest.

When you're in the forest and you hear a noise and you're sure you're being watched, it's probably Bukwus, a sort of wild man. In this show Cherokee artist Sean Hinton exhibits an unnerving Bukwus mask and rattle. Take a good look at them: You'll remember them on your next camping trip.

Rekindling Spirit: Young Contemporary Artists of the Northwest Coast. At Stonington Gallery, 119 S. Jackson St. Through July 31. Hours: Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30-5:30 p.m.; Sundays, noon-5 p.m.

Stonington Gallery
Our new home is in Pioneer Square, at 119 South Jackson Street. We more than doubled our space, and joined the many galleries currently located in Pioneer Square - Seattle's traditional art district. We anticipate that the extra space will give us even more opportunities to bring you outstanding exhibits of Alaskan and Northwest Coast art.
http://www.stoningtongallery.com/

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  
 

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Barry and Paul Barry.

 
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