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March 2-31, 2017

Drew Michael

 

 

S o l o   E x h i b i t

 

Opening Reception: First Thursday, March 2nd

6-8pm

 

Last year Stonington Gallery presented our debut exhibition by ambitious young Inupiaq/Yup'ik artist Drew Michael. The exhibit was a runaway success, with collectors and institutions acquiring works from all over the country. Now, it is with great pride that we welcome Michael back for a second solo exhibition, as he continues to evolve his deeply personal mask-forms based on his own life and on the culture and mythologies of the Yup'ik and Inupiaq peoples.

Drew is making artwork that draws on his heritage, his queer identity, his interests in chakra and indigenous healing, and his religious upbringing. These stunning sculptures can be seen as stand-ins for his emotions, and their solidity, serenity and spirituality are evidence of a young man yearning for a place, for security, and for love.


Two major themes run through the 2017 exhibition: works that look inward, and works that look outward. The inward pieces were largely created in 2016, and deal with the artist's continuing exploration of his emotional states, self-portraiture, his relationships, and with healing and growing.

The outward-looking works are more recent, sculpted over the last month and a half, as a direct reaction to the new sociopolitical landscape. At this moment, Drew finds himself retreating to his studio in search of things that are beautiful, elegant, light and hopeful, to combat the dread and fear he feels. Consequently, his forms are reaching new heights of elegance, femininity, and material complexity.

Drew has long been fascinated by the fashion and history of the early 20th century, with a focus on the 1912 Titanic disaster. In that disaster he sees a perfect crystallization of humanity's towering arrogance and the consequences of following that arrogance to its bitter end. He finds a chilling resonance between the pre-war time of the 1910s and our own 2010s, and these figures--draped and adorned with a 1900s flavor--are both wards against that resonance, and an elegy for that lost era.

 

March 2-31, 2017

S p o t l i g h t  O n :

Larry Ahvakana

Opening Reception: First Thursday, March 2nd

6-8pm

We are proud to present a tightly-focused exhibition of work in stone and wood by master sculptor Larry Ahvakana (Inupiaq), who is working towards a larger show later in 2017/18. This spotlight exhibition is a peek into what the multimedia sculptor is focusing on in his studio, and at the many facets of his practice.

Ahvakana was born in Fairbanks and raised in Point Barrow, AK. Barrow--recently renamed Utqiaġvik in 2016, its indigenous name--is the northernmost city in the United States, deep within the Arctic circle. At age seven, his family moved to Anchorage, leaving family ties and his indigenous language behind.

While attending the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, he found his Native identity reawakened and respected. By participating in the local tribal culture there, he recalled significant memories of his traditional upbringing and re-dedicated himself to Inupiat culture.

One of Ahvakana's mentors while at IAIA was Allan Houser, the legendary Apache sculptor. He credits Houser with being a strong influence as he learned to carve. In addition to studies at IAIA, he also attended New York's Cooper Union School of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design. Ahvakana is recognized as an artist, educator, and cultural elder.

"I was taught stone carving by an Apache master stone carver – Allan Houser. He taught me the ins and outs of understanding sculpture and understanding your own direction and your own people," Ahvakana said. "That was the basis for doing my work. To look into my own Inupiaq culture — through my parents and experiences with the village life when I was young in Barrow."   -Larry Ahvakana

 

 

Gallery Information:

Address: 125 South Jackson Street
Seattle, Washington 98104

Telephone: 206.405.4040
Toll Free: 866.405.4485

Email:
art@stoningtongallery.com

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Weekdays 10am - 6pm (PST)
Saturday 10am - 5:30pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

   

 

 

 

 

All images copyright © Stonington Gallery or ZensPhoto.