By carving, weaving, and painting their stories into ceremonial and utilitarian objects, Coast Salish artists render tangible the words and ideas that have been the architecture of this remarkable Pacific Northwest Coast culture. The Coast Salish tribes have developed a culture that was and still is shared orally, steeped in the ritual and beauty of storytelling and mythology. Infused with centuries of sacred teaching, these accounts hold the secrets to the spiritual, political, social, and economic well-being of tribal life. As a testament to their cultural resilience, increasing numbers of contemporary Coast Salish artists have embraced the new materials that "progress" has bestowed--glass, concrete, and steel - juxtaposing ancient images with modern materials.
Contemporary Coast Salish Art presents the work of twenty artists, whose work ranges from traditional forms such as basketry and weaving to modern glass sculpture. The artists featured here - including Bruce Miller, Marvin Oliver, Shaun Peterson, and Susan Point, the progenitors of this movement--perpetuate and expand their ancestors' traditions through their lifelong commitment to visually interpret and rejoice in all the manifestations of their culture.
Steven C. Brown contributes a thought-provoking review of the history of Coast Salish culture, incorporating an analysis of its formal elements while placing it in the context of the northern and southern artistic traditions of the region. Barbara Brotherton celebrates the renaissance of the Coast Salish style. Many of the artists describe, in their own words, the Native legends that have inspired their work. The result is a unique and invaluable overview of a vibrant body of work that is both innovative and grounded in tradition.Rebecca Blanchard and Nancy Davenport are co-directors of the Stonington Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Steven C. Brown , author of Native Visions: Evolution in Northwest Coast Art from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Century, is an independent researcher and artist. Barbara Brotherton is curator of Native American art at the Seattle Art Museum.
Foreword / Michael R. BonsignoreAcknowledgmentsIntroduction / Rebecca Blanchard and Nancy DavenportCoast Salish MapThe Coast Salish Two-Dimensional Art Style: An Examination / Steven C. Brown"Something Beautiful to Give" / Barbara BrothertonUrban Innovators--Susan A. Point--Marvin OliverRekindling Spirit--Shaun Peterson--Maynard Johnny, Jr.--Luke Marston and John MarstonKeeping the Spirit Alive--Simon Charlie--Jane Marston--Stan Greene--Andy Wilbur-Peterson--Ron Hilbert/Coy--Roger FernandesWeaving the Generations Together--Fran James and Bill James--Bruce Miller--Karen Reed--Michael Pavel, Susan Pavel, and Ed Archie Noisecat--Krista PointReferencesLegends--Northwind's Fishing Weir--The Origin of the Moon--Wolf and Moon--How Wolf Daughter Became Human--How the Birds Rescued Their Songs--Thunderbird Rescuing the Cowichan People from Starvation--Frog and Black Bear--Fishing for Bullheads--Cedar Legend--The Great Flood