Raya Friday is a member of the Lummi nation whose tribal lands are situated on the edge
of the Salish Sea near Bellingham, Washington. She was born and raised in Seattle
where, from an early age, she focused most of her time and energy in the arts.
Friday was introduced to glass by an elementary school ceramic teacher at the young
age of eleven but did not start actively pursuing the craft for another six years. By 2003
she had spent 7 years working in and around the Seattle area for both production shops
and independent artists, at which time she moved to New York to earn a degree in glass
sculpture at Alfred University. While still in school Raya started working at the renowned
Corning Museum of Glass, first as a technician and later as an instructor in the education
department until 2008.
Raya returned to the Pacific Northwest to be close to the land and community she loved.
In 2019, after continuing to work in the glass industry and while pursuing an independent
artistic career, she decided to return to school to pursue a humanities degree in
Indigenous Studies in the Native Pathways Program at Evergreen State College, where
she is currently still a student. The intention of Friday’s work is to explore how the unique
and haunting vocabulary of glass can amplify and encapsulate both the historical and
contemporary issues of her community.