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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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Guest artist Lewis Gardiner in the studio!

In November, we welcomed back our friend from New Zealand, renowned jade carver Lewis Tamihana Gardiner.  He and Preston are working on a new collection of works that combine the blown glass and Tlingit designs of Preston with the stunning jade work and Maori designs of Lewis!

It's been a busy autumn here at Preston Singletary Inc.!  

In November, we welcomed back our friend from New Zealand, renowned jade carver Lewis Tamihana Gardiner.  He and Preston are working on a new collection of works that combine the blown glass and Tlingit designs of Preston with the stunning jade work and Maori designs of Lewis!  

Their first collaboration was for the 2007 Spirit Wrestler Gallery exhibition Fire and Water, which was a great success and produced some of their most iconic pieces. Check out selections from that show here: Fire & Water.

Here are some photos from that week in the studio! (All photos by Russell Johnson.)

  

  

 

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Partners in Mythology: Preston Singletary and Walter Porter

Walter Porter is an Alaska Native Mythologist that has collaborated and acted as a mentor for Preston for many years. Learn more about him and his relationship with Preston's work in this post and at his website.

For many years, Preston has worked closely with Alaska Native mythologist Walter Porter to give greater culutral meaning to his pieces.   Walter speaks about the wisdom and knowledge that has been protected for us by our ancient Elders and how they cleverly disguised this information in mythology so it would come down safely to us through the ages. With rising crime, social problems, environmental impacts on commuities and illnesses at the forefront of our concerns today, he points out how mythology holds many answers for us to regain control of our communities and lives by understanding them.

 

Via Walter Porter:

Walter Porter is a Tlingit Indian from Yakutat Alaska. He was born in Yakutat in 1944 and moved to Haines, Alaska in 1956. He graduated in 1962 and traveled for 10 years and moved back to Yakutat. He spent a good deal of his boyhood years listening to his grand mother and other elders tell mythologies and legends that were handed down to them by their elders.

When he moved to Haines, he joined the Chilkat Dancers performing dances that were Tlingit Mythologies put into dance. In the mid 80’s he was invited to be the host on the “Box of Daylight” video put together by Sealaska Foundation, Alaska State Museum, Klukwaan Heritage, Alaska Humanities Forum and others.

He discovered at that time similarities with the Box of Daylight and other spiritual information he had been studying over the years. He has since then put together presentations showing how elders understood these stories and how they successfully used them to develop leadership, social, economic and healing skills to build strong and stable communities.

When lecturing or holding workshops, Walter invites his audience to look closely at the symbols in the story he is working with and gives them alternative meanings to choose from.  By allowing the audience or students to participate, the experience becomes more meaningful as they begin to understand and see the wisdom and knowledge of our elders unfolding from ancient times to present.

 

Preston and Walter at the Alaska Native Cultural Conference in 2007.

Preston and Walter worked together to create a lecture called "Spokesmen For Culture" at the Museum of Glass in connection to his exhibiton Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows.  Walter was even one of the guest essayists in the catalog, writing about the cultural significance of the Raven Steals the Light myth.  They will be collaborating again soon for a major project surrounding the Raven myth, which we'll tell you about as details are finalized.

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