This Thanksgiving, discover new Indigenous art in Seattle

Another thought-provoking wall hanging is “Charmed – Canoe Journey”, by longtime Northwest artist. Joe feddersen, member of the Confederate Tribes of Colville (Okanagan and Arrow Lakes). The work, exhibited at the Tacoma Glass Museum as part of the new group exhibition What are you looking at ? : An eccentric choir of artists working with glass (until autumn 2022), is a kind of large-scale tapestry, made up of strands of transparent glass fused into petroglyphs. Suspended from the ceiling, the room casts a shadow that reveals a story of people, animals, boats, bricks, utility poles and airliners.

Old and current stories are also the subject of a new show at the Washington State History Museum. As grandmother taught: women, tradition and the art of the stage (until November 28) showcases Matrilineal Indigenous art from the Columbia River Plateau through three contemporary Indigenous artists: HollyAnna CougarTracks DeCoteau Littlebull, Bernadine Phillips and Leanne Campbell. The range of crafts includes baskets, weavings, woodcarvings and elaborate beadwork embroidery, from human clothing to horse badges.

Still in extended view (and still worth a visit) at Tacoma Art Museum is Indigenous portrait: power and perception, which juxtaposes romanticized Western portraits of Native Americans by non-Native artists with Native portraits by contemporary Native artists. And while you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss ‘Mini Tahoma’, the massive new outdoor installation from RYAN! Feddersen (Joe’s niece), who breathes new life into a disused Brutalist fountain as a work of art through painting, sculptural pieces, lighting and approximately 33,000 pounds of post-consumer glass.

Glass is also at the center of Brightness: native glass art from the northwest (until November 27) at Stonington Gallery. The show features new works from three local superstars in the form: Preston Singletary (Tlingit), Dan Friday (Lummi) and Skyriver Raven (Tlingit). Traditional Northwest Coast shape line designs translate beautifully into contemporary glass, as seen in Singletary’s lighted totem poles, animal figures and Tlingit baskets. Friday also creates glass baskets, but with a completely different motif. Instead of precise geometry, its lines curl like the braided grasses they are meant to emulate. Skyriver’s Glass Menagerie features incredibly fluid whales and salmon (some of which were created with Singletary), several squids, a lifelike seal head, and a spectacular chambered nautilus (a collaboration with Northwestern glass artist Kelly O’Dell).

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