Giving Thanks

by Shaun Peterson, Puyallup tribe

  • Dimensions: 13"h x 19"w
  • Limited Edition of 100
  • Ships within 2 weeks
  • Free Shipping & Free Returns

    Shaun Peterson Puyallup Tribe Archival Print

    Giving Thanks

    One of the beautiful and unique aspects of Nuu-chah-nulth and Makah design style is the use of geometric shapes integrated into the formline composition. This coupled with its variance and near limitless potential to explore very narrative expressions has inspired me a great deal. In my early years studying Northwest Coast Native art I spent time in Neah Bay, Washington carving with Greg Colfax (Makah). It was a time I was learning about the cultural aspects of the art of what is known as the Southern Northwest Coast which include Nuu-chah-nulth, Makah, Coast Salish and Puget Sound Salish people. In 1999 the Makah were successful in their first whale hunt in several decades passed. I was fortunate enough to be present to see all that it entailed. What perhaps was most important to witness was the importance of and constant reminder that the people give thanks for the life that was known as 'transforming'. This 'transformation' was explained as ones life passing to enrich others by their honoring with song, dance, feast and thanks. The original sketch for this concept came to me and I had a whale under the human but I felt that today there is so much more to be thankful for and it shouldn't be limited to a single hunt or historical event but for many occasions that need no specified name or date but to give thanks for many things.
    Shaun Peterson is a pivotal figure in the revival of Coast Salish art traditions. An enrolled member of the Puyallup tribe, Shaun carries the name, Qwalsius, originally carried by his great grandfather, Lawrence Williams. The name has been translated in two possible meanings as the Lushootseed language spoken by many Western Washington tribes has become scarce. The first translation is “Painted Face” the second “Traveling to the face of Enlightenment”.

    Shaun’s artistic career began with the guidance of key mentors in the field of Northwest Coast art including Steve Brown, Greg Colfax and Loren White. His first major public installation came in his first year of training, a 37 foot story pole for Chief Leschi School in 1996 followed by commissions in Tacoma and Seattle, Washington. Shaun’s early works have been based in printmaking, paintings, and wood sculpture. The primary focus of each have been based on stories and functional objects such as rattles, regalia or hand drums used within cultural practices.

    By 2000 Shaun began working with sandblasting glass paired with hand carved cedar panels in a dual show with first mentor Steve Brown at the Stonington gallery in Seattle, Washington. In the next five years to follow the work extended into public installations incorporating steel and aluminum along with etched glass. As a result the work has evolved into mixed media works inclusive of the traditional wood working materials of western red and yellow cedar and the modern elements of glass, aluminum and steel. As an artist whose beginning was in flat design from painting panels and animal hides the art has also moved from limited edition silk screen prints to giclee’ (digital inkjet) pieces. Despite the ever shifting change in medium the design process remains the same in the beginning, pencil drawings develop into prints, painting, sculptures and major installations.

    A milestone in the artists career was marked in September 2010 when the City of Tacoma, Puyalllup tribe and Tacoma art museum unveiled and dedicated it’s first Welcome Figure near Tollefson Plaza. The female figure stands 24 feet tall and was carved from laminated red cedar with an internal steel support within being the first of it’s kind. This new method was developed in partnering with various engineers and consultation with shipwrights and seasoned sculptors.

    Today Shaun continues to explore the future possibilities of the art tradition and believes if his as well as his colleagues of the regional art styles in the Pacific Northwest to make use of the tools presented to them in their time. The work is said to be created to celebrate our past where teachings are received by acknowledging and honoring the present through continuing to move forward creating everyday.
  • Signed, Limited Edition of 100
  • 2011
  • Unframed
  • Professionally shipped by Artist, Shaun Peterson within 2 weeks.
  • Ships with printed artist bio and printed story of the piece
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