Contemporary Art by Aboriginal Artists of the Northwest
Contemporary Art by Aboriginal Artists of the Pacific Northwest
The Contemporary Art in this show is local, diverse, and expresses a vital cultural heritage that has been thousands of years in the making. It is more than the latest trend in worldwide art collection. The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County has curated a collection of art works created by members of cultural groups, which we are collectively referring to as Aboriginal People of the Northwest (sometimes referred to as First Nations People).
After European contact, the designs, masks, and decorative items of these tribes nearly disappeared. Many aboriginal groups in the Pacific Northwest almost died out. Fortunately, the classic tribal imagery and traditions (carving Totem Poles, House Posts and wooden masks) remained alive in the villages and in the hearts of the people. Modern artists have embraced those inherited images and created works celebrating their cultures. What has emerged is a wonderful resurgence of art by Aboriginal Artists of the Pacific Northwest. These works contain tribal motifs, mythological symbols and emblems of ancestry which are specific to the people of the Pacific Northwest. They carry timeless stories. The works were collected by the Reverend Carol Thomas Cissel, Minister MDIV, MS of State College, PA.
Artist in Show
2. Beau Dick
3. Sammy Dawson
4. Robert Davidson
5. Stan Greene
6. Bradley Hunt
9. Ed Archie Noisecat
10. Marvin Oliver
11. Susan Point
12. Bill Reid
13. Gerry Sheena
14. Steve Smith
15. Carl Stromquist
16. Troy Bellrose
17. Drew Michael
18. Preston Singletary
“I know that stories connect us to each other. I love the power, story and imagery in each one of the pieces in my collection. They speak to me, whisper to me and invite me in… in a way that nothing else does. Each one tells a unique tale. I feel as though the stories have been gifted to me, to us…by the artists who created them.
I love all of these pieces, particularly the deep colors and sometimes lyrical, sometimes distinct, lines in the prints of Susan Point (Face To Face and Bears). Her glass work is stunning. Though she has cast and carved images into solid glass – I can still feel the river water flowing around the salmon in the Salmon Gold Glass Panel and sense the two whales moving gently in the Salish Sea in her Spindle Whorl Sacred Song.
14 years after discovering Ed Archie’s Noisecat’s Raven Totem in a Gallery in Santa Fe New Mexico, it is still whispering things to me whenever I pause to listen. The sun hits the glass and I both hear and feel life-Giving warmth, my eyes
Catches the waves lapping around the rising raven and I am returned to deep mysterious waters, hidden in the dark green forests of the Northwest. I am repeatedly drawn into each piece over and over ...experiencing a fresh sense of awe and wonder.”
Reverend Carol Thomas Cissel
Image: Wind Mask by Sammy DawsonFridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 12:00-4:30 p.m.