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Visiting Artists to the Preston Singletary Studio

In late December the Preston Singletary Studio was pleased to host visiting artists Djambawa Marawili and Gunybi Ganambarr, along with Kade McDonald (Hanging Valley) from Australia. The artists collaborated on several unique glass pieces during their week-long visit.

In late December the Preston Singletary Studio was pleased to host visiting artists Djambawa Marawili and Gunybi Ganambarr, along with Kade McDonald (Director of Hanging Valley) from Australia. The artists collaborated on several unique glass pieces during their week-long visit.

Preston Singletary met Ganamburr in 2015 when Singletary visited Australia while taking part in a cultural exchange hosted by the United States Embassy.  While touring the country they forged a connection and planned on having the Australian artists visit Seattle in the future.

Djambawa Marawili is known as a leader in of the Madarrpa Clan as well as a renowned artist. His art resides in several museum collections and he is recognized as an activist in his community.  Marawili works in several mediums including “sculpture, bark painting and linocut, Marawili also produced the first screenprint image for the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Printspace”. 

Gunybi Ganambarr is noted for his innovative work with found materials.  The Australian wrote; "When Ganambarr was a young man, senior Yolngu artists recognized his ability and ensured he had the skills and knowledge to create the extraordinary bark paintings on show. These wonderfully complex and technically brilliant barks sit alongside new works that exploit the potential of materials found around mining sites. Using the layered webs of lines fundamental to traditional Yolngu painting and the incising of lines that characterizes Yolngu carving, he has reclaimed the insulation panels and rubber belts discarded by miners and transformed them into panels that combine traditional image-making with an enhanced sense of visual depth and tangible space. Ganambarr's work epitomizes the innovative and exploratory nature of contemporary Aboriginal arts practice.” Ganambarr ‘s work has also been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum.

This recent meeting between all of the artists to the Preston Singletary Studio focused on exploring different mediums, learning the glassblowing and design process, and working on new pieces collaboratively, the first of which is titled "Warrukay". 

 

Warrukay

Warrukay
Blown and sand carved glass
29.75” x 4.5”

 

  

 

 

 

 

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Sneak Peek: “Raven and the Box of Daylight” Exhibition 2018

A look at the upcoming "Raven and the Box of Daylight" Exhbition at the Museum of Glass in 2018. 

Opening in 2018 at the Museum of Glass, Raven and the Box of Daylight is the Tlingit story of Raven and his transformation of the world—bringing light to people via the stars, moon, and sun. This myth holds great significance in the mythology of the Tlingit people as a revered creation tale. The exhibition features a dynamic combination of artwork, storytelling, and encounter, where the Tlingit creation myth unfolds during the visitor’s experience.


The glass art of Preston Singletary is rooted in the narrative of Raven and the Box of Daylight. Primarily known for his celebration of Native American art and design, Singletary will explore new ways of working with glass inspired by Tlingit design principles. Tlingit objects were traditionally created for stagecraft, and were used to tell stories by representing elements of the natural world, as well as the histories of tribal families. By drawing upon this tradition, Singletary’s art creates a unique theatrical atmosphere, in which the pieces follow and enhance the exhibition narrative.


Raven and the Box of Daylight takes visitors on an experiential journey with Raven, and the transformation of darkness into light. Artworks by Preston Singletary, inspired by the creation myth and Tlingit art, are enhanced by exhibition text and audio-visual experiences. 

Text Courtesy of Museum of Glass. 

 

The Story of Raven and the Box of Daylight 

Raven looked around and the world was dark.  Raven encountered the fishermen of the night and asked, “Where is the Light?” He learned of the chief at the head of the Nass River who kept the light in his clan house.

Raven goes to the old chief, but is shooed away and learns of the chief’s daughter who drinks from the stream outside of the clan house. Raven devises a plan to transform himself into a speck of dirt and float into the young girl’s cup, in order to sneak into the house. Her servants see the dirt and they throw the water out. Raven decides to transform himself into a hemlock needle in the stream and tries again. This time the daughter drinks the water that contained the hemlock needle and she becomes pregnant with Raven in the form of a human baby.

Raven is born as a boy. The old chief wouldn’t deny his much loved grandson anything. The boy grew quickly and was very precocious. Raven, the boy, eventually discovered a box and asked to play with it. The chief and his mother refused but the boy screamed until the grandfather gave in. When no one was looking the boy opened the box and the Stars flew up through the smoke hole and into the night sky. They scolded the boy. After some time the old man forgot what his grandson had done, then Raven discovered another box. Raven asked to play with the box and they refused. So Raven started to scream and cry. They eventually gave the box to him and he opened it. The Moon floated from the box and up into the sky.

Finally the boy searched and found the final box. He again asked to play with it and everyone adamantly refused. So he cried and fussed until he drove everyone crazy. The old man relented again. They instructed him once again to not open the box. So he played with the box; slept with the box and ate off of the box.

The boy was growing tired of being human and decided to transform back into the Raven. One night when everyone was asleep, he crept to the box and slowly opened it. This was the box containing the Sun. Raven decided to flee the clan house, while daylight flooded throughout the world and everything was bathed in light.

Raven and the Box of Daylight

Raven and the Box of Daylight

Raven Steals the Moon

Raven Steals the Moon

 

The Woman Who Was Transparent

The Woman Who Was Transparent

 

Ladle

Ladle

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The Exhibition at Château Musée Boulogne-sur-Mer in France

An innovative exhibition of contemporary Alaskan art has arrived at the Château Musée Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. 

An innovative exhibition of contemporary Alaskan art has arrived at the Château Musée Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. Organized by Alutiiq artist Perry Eaton, a large selection of works by twenty-nine contemporary Alaskan Native artists will enter the collection of the museum, one of the first collections of this type in Europe.  The exhibition, titled "D'une culture a l'autre" — "From One Culture to Another", brought Preston Singletary to France as an artist included in the exhibit.

In Preston Singletary’s words:

“It was an amazing experience meeting scholars from around the world specializing in Alaskan Native "Artifacts". There were Anthropologists from France, Switzerland, Germany, UK, Finland, Russia, Denmark and other regions who are familiar with our Alaskan objects.

The group of artists showed them that we are still here and we created a dialogue about the collections and our ability to access them. We explained that we have critical knowledge, which can enhance their book knowledge of the objects. We gifted a collection of objects to show our good will, in order for them to see the contemporary perspectives we have, to view the new materials we work with and so they can come to understand us even better as contemporary Indigenous people.

It was a unique experience with an audience from around world who were interested in this continuum of our cultural art. If nothing else we turned a few heads. Thank you Perry Eaton for bringing us together and making this happen. I hope that this is just the beginning of the dialogue.”

In France, a New Exhibit Marks First Collection of Contemporary Alaska Native Art in Europe - Alaska Dispatch News.

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Craft in America

In May 2016 the PBS show “Craft in America” filmed at the Preston Singletary Glass Studio in Seattle, WA and filmed a behind the scenes look at Preston Singletary and his art process. 

In May 2016 the PBS show “Craft in America” filmed at the Preston Singletary Glass Studio in Seattle, WA. The “Craft in America” crew got a special look at the art glass process, interviewed Curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis about Tlingit culture and received greater insight from Preston Singletary on his art. A distinct focus was given to pieces that will be featured in the “Raven and the Box of Daylight” solo exhibition at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA to be presented in 2018.

Craft in America’s mission includes:

“…To document and advance original handcrafted work through programs in all media, accessible to all. We are dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of craft, the work of the hand, and their impact on our nation’s cultural heritage.”

Preston Singletary will be included in the “Nature “episode of “Craft in America”, which is currently in production and will air within the next few months. Visit the “Craft in America” website to explore past episodes, featured artists and to learn more about this award-winning series.

 

 

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New Collaboration with Harlan Reano

This week in the studio, we're happy to announce a new collaborative series of work between Preston and Kewa Pueblo artist Harlan Reano!

This week in the studio, we're happy to announce a new collaborative series of work between Preston and Kewa Pueblo artist Harlan Reano!  The product of this collaboration will be an exhibition at Blue Rain Gallery in May 2015!

Harlan is best known for his works made with his wife, Cochiti Pueblo potter Lisa Holt.  Check out their website here: Lisa Holt & Harlan Reano.

Preston is working with Harlan to create vessel forms and figures similar to his pottery work, then translating his painted designs to sandcarved motifs.  This is truly a unique collaboration for the studio.  We can't wait to see how the pieces turn out!

Here are some photos our friend and photographer Russell Johnson took this week in the studio.  Enjoy!

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