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Whatcom Museum to feature artwork from one of the most important printmakers

Wendy Red Star’s nine color lithograph will be one of the pieces of art on display at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher as part of the “Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25.”
Wendy Red Star’s nine color lithograph will be one of the pieces of art on display at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher as part of the “Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25.” Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A new exhibition, “Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25,” opens at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building Saturday, May 19.

Organized by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in partnership with Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, the exhibition chronicles the history of one of the most important Native American printmaking ateliers in the country. The exhibition will be on display through Aug. 19.

The artwork in “Crow’s Shadow” focuses on themes of abstraction, landscape, media and processes, portraiture, and words and images. Printing techniques include monoprints, monotypes and lithographs on a variety of paper and using various colors. The exhibition includes text panels, chat panels and a video that highlights the history and location of the studio.

“The Whatcom Museum is both pleased and proud to be bringing works from this well-established press,” said Patricia Leach, executive director of the Whatcom Museum. “Many of the artists represented are recognized contemporary Native American and indigenous artists.”

Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is a nationally recognized printmaking studio, and the only studio located on a reservation community in the United States. Sited on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon, the studio brings together Native and non-Native artists from around the world to make prints under the guidance and direction of master printmaker Frank Janzen.

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Joe Feddersen’s “Wyit View” will be one of the pieces of art on display at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher as part of the “Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25.” Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

During the past 25 years, the studio has served as a conduit for artistic development and creative opportunities for Native Americans, and has become a world-class organization hosting national and international artists for annual residencies. In partnership with Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, Oregon, Crow’s Shadow artists-in-residence gain access to scholarly collections at the university and also have an opportunity to present work at biennial exhibitions.

“Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts at 25” will feature works by 50 artists including the late Rick Bartow (Wiyot), Pat Boas (U.S.), Joe Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes), Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne), Brenda Mallory (Cherokee), Wendy Red Star (Apsáalooke) and Marie Watt (Seneca), among others. Originally founded by printmakers James Lavadour (Walla Walla) and Phillip Cash (Cayuse and Nez Perce), the exhibition presents a unique overview of this world-class studio.

Opening concurrently at the Lightcatcher building is the exhibition, “The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, 1949-1992,” organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, Berkeley, California.

Christina M. Claassen is Whatcom Museum’s marketing and public relations manager. Reach her at cmclaassen@cob.org.

Whatcom Museum

The non-profit Whatcom Museum is operated by the Whatcom Museum Foundation and the city of Bellingham. The Old City Hall building at 121 Prospect St. and the Lightcatcher Building at 250 Flora St. are open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. The Family Interactive Gallery, located inside the Lightcatcher, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission, good for all sites in a day, is $10 general, $8 youth (6-17 years) and student, senior or military, $5 children (2-5 years). Memberships start at $50 and include free museum admission.

The museum offers a variety of programs and exhibitions about art, nature and Northwest history. Its collections contain more than 200,000 artifacts and art of regional importance, including a photographic archive. The museum is accredited nationally by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.

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