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July 11, 2009 – September 19, 2010

Organized by Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass is proud to present Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire, and Shadows, the first mid-career survey of this renowned artist. For nearly two decades, Preston Singletary has straddled two cultures—melding his Tlingit ancestry with the dynamism of the Studio Glass Movement—and in the process creating an extraordinarily distinctive and powerful body of work. Drawing from traditional Tlingit art, Singletary has translated the visual vocabulary of patterns, narratives, and systems most closely associated with Native woodcarving and painted art into glass, a material historically associated with Native peoples through an extensive network of trading routes.

Introduced to glassmaking in the Pacific Northwest at an early age, Singletary quickly became highly proficient in the sculptural manipulation of the material and began reexamining the narrative and spiritual traditions of his Tlingit heritage. The physical and metaphorical properties of glass proved ideally suited for this exploration. His unique interpretations of Tlingit myths and legends are visible in a plethora of stunningly beautiful traditional objects and figurative sculptures, manifested through a complex combination of techniques, including glassblowing, sandcarving, and inlaying. The synthesis Singletary creates through his work melds three worlds—modern art, glass, and Tlingit tradition—into a unique whole.

This exhibition, which contains works borrowed from major museum and private collections across the United States, illustrates Singletary’s artistic evolution over the past two decades and culminates in a dynamic new body of work created during his 2008 Visiting Artist Residency at the Museum of Glass. The exhibition also showcases, for the first time, Singletary’s newest and most significant commission to date. This work features a monumental cast-glass triptych, comprising reinterpretations of a densely carved interior house screen suspended between two longhouse posts. Merging video art, video, and music into a multimedia installation, Singletary will create an atmospheric soundscape that resonates on several levels, revealing a new artistic direction.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum produced a documentary film along with various interviews filmed with Singletary in Alaska. A fully illustrated color catalog featuring essays by Native American scholar Steven C. Brown, Tlingit storyteller and author Walter Porter, and Museum of Glass curator Melissa G. Post accompanies the exhibition.

This exhibition is available to tour during 2010 and 2011. For more information, contact Director of Public Programs Susan Warner.



Exhibition Sponsors

Presented by Alaska Airlines


Preston Singletary Catalog

Image credits:
Preston Singletary (American, born 1963).  All photos by Russell Johnson.
1.  Raven Steals the Sun (Gagaan Awutáawu Yéil), 2001.  Blown, hot-sculpted, and sandcarved glass, 15 3/4 x 6 x 6 inches.  Collection of Michael and Cathy Casteel.
2.  Transference (Tulatseen), 2002.  Blown, hot-sculpted, and sandcarved glass, 10 x 25 x 8 1/2 inches.  Collection of Luino and Margaret Dell/Osso, Jr.

3.  Breaching Killer Whale (Yaa Natán Kéet), 2008.  Blown, hot-sculpted, and sandcarved glass, 15 x 23 1/2 x 12 inches.  Courtesy of the artist.

4.  Devilfish Prow (Náakw Yáakw Shaká), 2007, collaboration with Lewis Tamihana Gardiner (Maori, born 1972).  Blown and sandcarved glass with steel connections, pounamu (New Zealand jade), Australian black jade, Siberian jade and paua (New Zealand abolone) inlays.  Private collection.
5.  The Genies, 1996.  Blown incalmo glass, 13 x 10 inches diam.; 17 x 7 inches diam.; 23 x 5 inches diam.
6.  Eagle/Raven (Ch´áak´ Laxkeit), 2008.  Blown and sandcarved glass, 22 x 7 x 5 inches.
7.  Tlingit Crest Hat (S´áaxw), 2007.  Blown and sandcarved glass; gold foil, 10 x 19½  inches.
8.  Indian Curio Shelf (Tlaagú Kágu Kayaashx’), 2008.  Blown, overlay, and sandcarved glass, overall: 10 x 52 x 14 inches.
9.  Clan House (Naakahídi), 2008.  Kiln-cast and sandcarved glass; water-jet-cut, inlaid, and laminated medallion, 16 feet x 10 feet x 2 1/2 inches. Collection of Museum of Glass with funds provided by Leonard and Norma Klorfine

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