Visual

Native Arts Celebration

Asking questions, honoring artists

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WHAT: Native Arts Celebration
WHEN: A “Native Art Today” panel discussion takes place from 7-9pm Fri., Nov. 14 and a “Native Art Market” happens from 12-4pm Sat., Nov. 15
WHERE: Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., and Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St.
COST: Entry to each event is a suggested donation of $3
INFO: http://www.whatcommuseum.org

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Artist and educator Tanis S’eiltin thinks the category of “traditional” Native American art is a bit of a misnomer.

“Native peoples are sentient beings responding to life’s challenges and victories,” the Fairhaven College professor answers when asked what she’s learned about the evolving nature of “traditional” and “contemporary” Native American art—one of the main topics that will be covered at a “Native Art Today” panel discussion taking place Fri., Nov. 14 at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall.

“Our art is constantly changing, as are our social, cultural and political environments,” the Tlingit printmaker and installation artist adds. “Evolution of art styles, traditional and contemporary, are driven by many factors; shifting economies, social media, tourist industry, collectors, curators, scholars and cultural trends.

“In addition, art produced in urban settings differs from the art produced in rural communities. And so it is difficult to use the terms ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’, or ‘Northwest Coast,’ ‘Alaska Native Art,’ ‘Native Art,’ etc. Just as difficult is the task to define how it has evolved.”

Still, when S’eiltin joins the panel—which will also include input from Seattle Art Museum’s Native American art curator Barbara Brotherton, Haida weaver Lisa Telford, Stonington Gallery’s Becky Blanchard, and Theresa Parker, a renowned basket weaver and educational curator for the Makah Cultural and Research Center—they will attempt to increase public understanding by doing just that.

The artists and those who represent them will also examine recent trends in exhibiting and representing the work of Native American artists. For her part, S’eiltin says she’s concerned about the practices with which Native artwork is both exhibited and defined.

“It is quite unusual to see an exhibition based on a specific theme, as they are often generated on an overarching generic and loosely based idea,” she says.

“In addition, I would be excited about exhibitions that represent ethnically diverse artists, be that white artists as well as indigenous artists. A specific theme that brings artists from a wide range of places, whose work represents contrasting ideas, would be very informative and provocative. This would also work to challenge a longstanding practice in the art world that tends to ghettoize the Native artist. In converse, I feel there needs to be more support for solo exhibitions throughout the nation.”

While it will be interesting to see how the rest of the panelists chime in on the topics at hand—and respond to questions from the audience—Friday night’s discussion is just one part of the “Native Arts Celebration” being presented by Northwest Indian College and Humanities Washington.

Those who are interested in the subject matter can return to the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building Sat., Nov. 15 for a closer look at what kind of art is currently being produced by both established and up-and-coming artists such as Ethel and Floyd Warbus, Cristie James, Kelly Yazzie, Faunt Visser, Lisa Telford, Theresa Parker, and Ernistine Gensaw.

While the art they’ll be presenting, selling and demonstrating will be the main focus of the “Native Art Market,” the “celebration” part of the weekend’s events will be in full swing as well. There will also be tale-telling with Nooksack storyteller Tammy Cooper Woodrich, music by flutist Peter Ali, and a chance for those in attendance at the culturally creative event to learn more about traditional materials and techniques such as weaving with cedar bark.

Hopefully, both Friday and Saturday’s events will serve as a way for others to learn more about the experiences of Native American artists—whether it’s through the art of conversation or simply the appreciation of their art.

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Sunday
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9:00am

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11:00am

Painter Clayton Marsh’s one-man show, “Fragile Ecology: Land. People. Harmonies,” can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through May (closed Tuesdays) in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery,…

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11:00am

Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St.

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“Origins and Evolutions: Five Generations” can be seen from 11am-4pm Tues.-Thurs., and by appointment, at least through May 22 at Gallery Syre, 465 Stuart Rd. The show gathers together…

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Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St.

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11:00am

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11:00am

“Origins and Evolutions: Five Generations” can be seen from 11am-4pm Tues.-Thurs., and by appointment, at least through May 22 at Gallery Syre, 465 Stuart Rd. The show gathers together…

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11:00am

View works by Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild members from 11am-5pm Wed.-Sat. in Stanwood at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW. A “Spring Into Art” regional juried art show can be seen through…

Origins and Evolutions Exhibit

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“Origins and Evolutions: Five Generations” can be seen from 11am-4pm Tues.-Thurs., and by appointment, at least through May 22 at Gallery Syre, 465 Stuart Rd. The show gathers together…

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11:00am

Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St.

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View works by Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild members from 11am-5pm Wed.-Sat. in Stanwood at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW. A “Spring Into Art” regional juried art show can be seen through…

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Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St.

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Peruse a variety of produce, flowers and artisan wares during opening day of the Mount Vernon Farmers Market from 9am-2pm at the city’s Riverwalk Park, 509 S. First St. Booths will be spaced…

An Artist's Universe at Hotel Bellwether

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Vast Exhibit

10:00am

View the rotating landscape show “Vast” from 10am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through June 27 in Edison at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave. As pieces from the multi-artist show sell,…

Spring Show

10:00am

Check out the multi-artist “Spring Show” from 10am-5pm Fridays through Sundays through May 23 in Mount Vernon at the River Gallery, 19313 Landing Rd. The exhibit can also be viewed online.

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am

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10:00am

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11:00am

“The Work of Jesus Guillen: An Artistic Legacy of Love and Courage” can be seen from 11am-4pm Fridays through Sundays through May 2 in La Conner at the Skagit County Historical Museum, 501 S.…

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11:00am

“Origins and Evolutions: Five Generations” can be seen from 11am-4pm Tues.-Thurs., and by appointment, at least through May 22 at Gallery Syre, 465 Stuart Rd. The show gathers together…

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Painter and sculptor Leo Osborne’s works will be featured from 11am-5pm Wednesdays through Sundays through May in Anacortes at the Scott Milo Gallery, 420 Commercial Ave. Osborne presents his…

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11:00am

Painter Clayton Marsh’s one-man show, “Fragile Ecology: Land. People. Harmonies,” can be seen from 11am-6pm daily through May (closed Tuesdays) in Mount Vernon at Perry and Carlson Gallery,…

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11:00am

View works by Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild members from 11am-5pm Wed.-Sat. in Stanwood at A Guilded Gallery, 8700 271st St. NW. A “Spring Into Art” regional juried art show can be seen through…

Light Catchers Photography Exhibit

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11:00am

Works by as many as 45 Whatcom Art Guild members can be viewed from 11am-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays at Whatcom Art Market, 1103 11th St.

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12:00pm

A “Spring Juried Exhibit,” “Winter Textile Explorations,” Lisa McShane’s “A Decade of Landscapes,” and Ron Pattern’s “The Seasonal Forest” can be viewed from 12pm-4:30pm Thursdays through…

Share Spot

12:00pm

Birchwood Food Desert Fighters hosts a Share Spot from 12pm-2pm Saturdays offering free food to take or share and in the parking lot of the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave.…

Seeds of Culture at Whatcom Museum

12:00pm

View “Seeds of Culture: The Portraits and Voices of Native American Women,” “Fluid Formations: The Legacy of Glass in the Pacific Northwest,” “Jac Trautman: The Specter of the Indigenous,”…

Rebel Artists of Whatcom County

3:00pm

A variety of artists and artisans sell their creative wares at the Rebel Artists of Whatcom Art Market from 3pm-6pm every Saturday at downtown Bellingham’s Commercial Street Plaza, 1315…

Family Book Group

4:00pm

Kids in grades K-5 and their families are invited to register for a Family Book Group from 4pm-5pm via Zoom. The event is led by Whatcom County Library System youth staff, and features a…