Seattle Art Museum – 2 More Exhibits!

The amazing natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and especially the area around Puget Sound, has inspired and nourished many artists, for millennia.

So, while you are in Seattle, over the next few weeks, especially, attend 2 more art exhibitions at the same time, in addition to the Imogen Cunningham Exhibition of work (from one of America’s original female master photographers).

Order and Border at the Seattle Art Museum:

Stripes are a fundamental visual element and they appear naturally in vertical lines (as trees, especially), so they are a part of how we view and conceptualize “space”.

The stripe is so basic it is rarely given its own isolated attention, but this opportunity examines how stripes decorate and structure objects, bodies and spaces. It also follows the many ways that stripes are formulated. Catalog them in your mind as you see them – sometimes swirling, rigid, ragged, skinny or bold and any other imaginative form we can dream of. This exhibition also offers how stripes appear in a wide range of media, from a multitude of cultures, and the exhibition will be closing soon (see below).

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm, Thursday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm
03/06/2010 through 05/08/2011
Admission to the Museum:
$13/Adults, $10/Seniors, $7/Students (with ID) and Youth (13-19)
Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Avenue, Seattle
(206) 654-3100
Seattle Art Museum

And, the second exhibition described in this posting is
“The End of the Ancestors: The Narrative Art of Bruce subiyay Miller”.

Bruce subiyay Miller was a local Skokomish Native American. His artworks were completed in several media – carving, basketry and weaving. These are rooted in his tribe’s ancient traditions.

As a young man, he was drafted into the Army in 1967 and Bruce served in Vietnam. Miller gave two tours of Vietnam and was awarded the Army Medal of Commendation.

He worked later as an actor in New York City. Although he spent most of his life on the Skokomish reservation, he left to attend school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.

But Bruce finally returned to the Skokomish reservation and re-awakened interest there in the arts of traditional basketry and wool weaving, winter dancing and first food ceremonies.

You can see videos of Bruce sharing Twana: Story and Video
“Teachings of the Tree People”.

Bruce became a master of many art forms, including Twana basket weaving, specializing in the T’kayas style. He began to weave at age ten, learning from the last two Twana basket weavers: his mother, Emily Miller, and Louisa Pulsifer. He was also a respected ceremonial and spiritual leader of the Twana people.

T’kayas is a form of Twana basketry; used to create soft, twine baskets with overlay patterns; the baskets are made out of cattail, bear grass, cedar bark, and sweetgrass. Decorative animal borders are also typical of the T’kayas basket weaving style.

At the time when he was the last living Twana to still weave in the T’kayas style, Bruce and the Skokomish tribe realized the critical necessity that the traditional art be passed on to future generations.

So, as a 1994 recipient of an Apprenticeship grant, Bruce taught four apprentices the art of Twana T’kayas basket weaving.

His apprentices were Leona Miller, Anne Pavel, Jeanne Evernden and Nikki Burfiend. These four women were dedicated to learning and preserving the traditional art of Twana basketry; Miller’s apprentice, Nikki Burfiend, has already begun to teach her daughter Twana basketry weaving techniques.

With the enthusiasm of these original four, and that of many of his subsequent apprentices, Twana basketry will continue to be remembered as a traditional Skokomish Tribal art form.

So, by attending this exhibition you can share in some of the longtime life of this area as you view these works.

His tribe recognized Bruce’s talents and love of the arts and this led to his appointment as the tribe’s cultural and educational director in 1971. Three years later, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a National Heritage Fellowship.

Bruce relates that “Einstein said there are two kinds of knowledge, stored knowledge and living knowledge. Stored knowledge can be put in a book and set aside, and looked at later. But living knowledge has to be expressed, felt, spoken and demonstrated. There is no replacement for living knowledge. ” … “For many years these cultural ways were forbidden but someone remembered them and shared them. So the flame is fanned once again. We can now breathe again because our traditions live and they survive. I never expected any acknowledgement for what I do in life. I merely look upon the things that I do as a personal responsibility to keep what I have alive for future generations.”

Bruce also received: a National Endowment for the Arts National Folk Arts Fellowship (2006), a Washington Folk Arts Fellowship, and the Washington Governor’s Art and Heritage Award in 1992.

In 2005, Gerald Bruce subiyay Miller joined his ancestors, but his work lives on.

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm, Thursday-Friday 10:00am-9:00pm
12/02/2009 through 08/01/2010
Seattle Art Museum


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