TWO RAVENS: Alison Marks & Crystal Worl
We kick off the year with an exhibition by two young Alaska-based mixed media artists, Alison Marks (Tlingit) and Crystal Worl (Tlingit/Athabascan). “Two Ravens” will present new works by both artists, including at least one collaborative work.
Traditional Tlingit society is built on two matrilineal moieties, otherwise known as clans, and all modern Tlingit people are either part of the Eagle or Raven moiety. In the past, people were required to search for a suitable marriage partner of the opposite moiety. Both Marks and Worl are of the Raven moiety, forming the title for their show. But Raven is more than just their clan marker: Raven is one of the most important mythic characters on the Northwest Coast, featuring in hundreds of myths as a catalyst for change, a trickster stirring up mischief, and a transformative being who takes on many guises. It is in the spirit of transformation, experimentation, and boundary-pushing that Marks and Worl present “Two Ravens”. Much like Raven, these two ambitious artists are always up to something!
“Goonaxh sa Marks” by Alison Marks | “Raven’s Eclipse” by Crystal Worl
Alison Marks was recently seen in Seattle in her solo exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in winter 2017. In fall 2018 Marks became the first Tlingit woman that we know of to carve and raise a totem pole in Alaska. Woodcarving, painting and regalia are a few of the mediums the artist employs. Marks uses traditional Tlingit techniques to tell new stories, and often includes humor as a tool in order to engage viewers who aren’t familiar with the Tlingit culture. In addition to her contemporary art practice, Marks is committed to the revitalization of the Tlingit language and creating works for traditional and ceremonial use. She has studied under master artists David A. Boxley and David R. Boxley.
Crystal Worl holds a BFA in Jewelry Metals and an Associate’s of Fine Art in Moving Images from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She and her brother are the founders of Trickster Company, which produces apparel, jewelry, objects and equipment with formline design. She experiments with kiln-cast glass, printmaking, painting, and silversmithing. She recently began working with fish skin, seal gut-skin, and furs. Crystal studies traditional Tlingit formline design and Athabascan beadwork patterns. She experiments applying her designs within mixed media and performance, including aerial dancing. She practices the recreation and modernization of her Clan’s stories and Raven stories from home. Her work explores the relationships and bonds between her people, the land, and the animals. Worl is currently participating in a year-long apprenticeship with Haida master artist Robert Davidson.