Honoring the Salish Sea
With Stonington Gallery’s current exhibit “Honoring the Salish Sea”, we seek to pay homage to this remarkable region that is rich in both culture and ecology. The watershed of the Salish Sea includes many river systems whose origins are born in both the Cascade and Olympic ranges. These rivers have teemed with epic salmon runs for millennia. This abundant ecosystem has fostered and nurtured diverse nations of Indigenous people who have relied on that bounty for thousands of years. Though these nations are discrete, and carry different traditions and art styles, many share linguistic roots, and are tightly woven together by a shared environment and history.
Threats to the waterways of our region are also abundant: pollution, damming, overfishing, damaging pipelines and potentially catastrophic mining projects. Whether we are able to course correct and preserve what natural beauty remains from further degradation is an open and pressing question. Indigenous communities across the Northwest and Alaska continue to bravely and tenaciously resist the exploitation of their lands, reminding us of a history of broken promises and urging us to do better.
Over the past decades, Stonington Gallery has watched as the Indigenous people of this region have staged an extraordinary revitalization of their culture, art, traditional practices, and languages. We are honored and proud to work with elders, adults and youth of these nations, and those beyond. This show also welcomes artists who live outside of the Salish Sound region, but who are deeply tied to and concerned with the health and safety of their own local waterways.
Many works in this exhibit show the intermingled influence of urban landscapes and natural materials, the mix of media representing the dynamic range of identities and traditions that exist today along the Coast. Our current exhibit represents only a fraction of the creators on the Coast, but provides a glimpse of the creativity, fortitude and spirit with which they keep culture alive and move it into the future.