Northwest Native Glass Art: Dan Friday | Preston Singletary | Raven Skyriver
Northwest Native Art Glass is the confluence place where contemporary Northwest Indigenous art and the studio glass movement collide. The result are works in the medium of glass that reflect on, honor and explore Indigenous heritage, made by contemporary glass artists at the height of their powers. We are honored to represent three of the most important Indigenous glass artists working today: Dan Friday (Lummi), Preston Singletary (Tlingit), and Raven Skyriver (Tlingit). We feature these three Washington-based artists in October, as part of the Refract Festival that brings glass to the forefront in Seattle.
Dan Friday (Lummi) is inspired by the material culture of the Lummi people: the gear with which they reefnet fish, one of the world’s oldest and most sustainable salmon-fishing techniques; the totem poles carved by his great-grandfather Joseph R. Hillaire (Kwul-kwul’t); and the cedar bark woven baskets and goat fur blankets of the great Lummi weavers.
Preston Singletary (Tlingit) is particularly focused on mythology and legendary characters, rendering stories of the Tlingit, Haida and other northern nations in blown and sandblasted glass. Singletary transforms epic legends along the sides of bentwood boxes, on totem poles made in collaboration with carvers David Svenson (Non-Indigenous) and Dave Franklin (Non-Indigenous), and in 2d prints.
Of the three, Raven Skyriver (Tlingit) draws deepest from the physical environment of the Pacific Northwest Coast. His incredibly life-like blown glass creatures are a celebration of the variety of aquatic and land animals of our region and beyond. He uses them to educate viewers about the ties we have to the creatures who have inhabited this land even longer than humanity, and the responsibility we owe them to keep the ecosystem healthy and sustained.