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May 13, 2005

Native American Glass Art at the Burke

Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists
Burke Museum, Seattle
Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2005

Seattle— The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will present Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists, Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2005, an exhibit showcasing contemporary glass by eighteen Native American artists. Fusing Traditions was organized by the Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco and features glass art, a medium not typically exhibited in Native American art exhibits.

This survey of contemporary art provides a unique opportunity to view the ways in which each artist incorporates their Native American heritage into the medium of glass. The more than 20 pieces displayed in the exhibit are inspired by traditional objects, such as pottery, masks, and spindle whorls, but redefine them in glass, taking advantage of its luminous qualities.

Glass is traditional when seen from the viewpoint of European Americans, and innovative from the Native American perspective. Creating the art is something like a negotiation for the Native American artist, where traditional visual culture fuses and collides with outside influences.

The majority of the artists featured in the exhibit live in the Northwest. Most of the artists have attended the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, either as students or instructors. Many of them were involved in the design, fabrication, and raising of the Pilchuck totem pole, erected in 2001 to honor the school’s founders, John Hauberg, Anne Gould Hauberg, and Dale Chihuly. The Puget Sound region, from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, British Columbia, has a significant concentration of world-renowned glass artists, and the Burke Museum is well situated to exhibit this contemporary Native art form.

Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists was co-curated by Carolyn Kastner and Roslyn Tunis and was organized by the Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco, Ca, www.MOCFA.org. Related programming will accompany the exhibit. A catalogue will also be available at the Burke Museum.

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For images, catalogues or program information, contact MaryAnn Barron at maryannb@u.washington.edu.

The Burke Museum is located at the corner of NE 45th St and 17th Ave NE, on the University of Washington campus. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily, and until 8 pm Thursday. Admission is $8.00 general, $6.50 senior, $5 student/ youth. Admission is free to children 4 and under, Burke members, UW students, faculty, and staff. Admission is free to the public on the first Thursday of each month. Call ahead to confirm admission prices at 206-543-5590 or visit www.burkemuseum,org.

(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274