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Indepth Arts News:

"Carving a Legacy: Innovation in Coast Salish Art"
2005-06-16 until 2005-09-25
Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma, WA, USA United States of America

Tacoma Art Museum’s major summer exhibition, Carving a Legacy: Innovation in Coast Salish Art marks the ongoing revival of Native American art in the South Puget Sound region. The exhibition, which opened during Artwalk on Thursday, June 16, highlights the Coast Salish tradition of carving, and emphasizes the ways in which contemporary Native American artists from the region continue this vital art form.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see Coast Salish art in the making throughout the duration of the exhibition. Local artists will create works of art in the gallery using various Coast Salish art-making techniques, such as carving, basket-making, and print-making, highlighting the broad range of artistic expression and technical mastery of Coast Salish artists.

Carving a Legacy celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary art made by the indigenous people of Puget Sound. Curator Rock Hushka notes that the exhibition also “seeks to show how Native American art continues to evolve and change as present-day artists both embrace and push the boundaries of tradition.”

The exhibition is primarily focused on the Coast Salish technique of carving, but also features glass sculptures, prints, weaving, and baskets which illustrate the breadth of Native American art. Among the artists represented are Tacoma resident and Puyallup Tribal Nation member Shaun Peterson, and master carver Greg Colfax, of the Makah Tribal Nation. Other artists include Marvin Oliver, Bruce Miller, Chris Paul, and Karen Reed.

Carving a Legacy: Innovation in Coast Salish Art is sponsored by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Key Foundation, a foundation funded by KeyBank, and Click! Network, Tacoma Power.

Local Coast Salish Art Revival

Carving a Legacy is one of many local exhibitions and events that mark a revival in Coast Salish art. Currently on view at Seattle Art Museum is Song, Story, Speech: Oral Traditions of Puget Sound’s First People. Stonington Gallery in Seattle’s Pioneer Square will present Awakenings: Gathering of Coast Salish Artists in August 2005. This exhibition features new works by eighteen Coast Salish artists, including Shaun Peterson, Susan Point, and Marvin Oliver. In the spring of 2006, Washington State History Museum presents Weavers Spirit Power, South Salish Weaving, and in February 2008, Seattle Art Museum opens a survey of Coast Salish art spanning more than two centuries.

Tacoma Art Museum’s mission is to connect people through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. The museum’s five galleries display an array of top national shows, the best of Northwest art, creatively themed exhibitions, and historical retrospectives. In addition, there is an Education Wing for children, adults, and seniors with an art resource center, classroom, and studio for art making. Tacoma Art Museum is located in the downtown Cultural District, next to historic Union Station.

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