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Review From Art Access

   i.e. gallery typically exhibits one-person shows that can include both 2D and 3D artworks in their one-room space in the historic Edison Eye Building.  However, May is a departure from their usual program. The gallery exhibits photographs by David Hall, an artist that the gallery represents, in addition to artwork on loan from Stonington Gallery in Seattle by Indigenous artists based in the Pacific Northwest. The show is titled “Reflections on Northwest Coastal Art Forms” and it includes Hall’s series titled “Shoreline Reflections”and the work of numerous Indigenous artists including Susan Point, Preston Singletary, Kevin Paul, Rande Cook, and many more. The impetus of the exhibition began when Hall was photographing the water along the shore of Ross Lake, and he began to notice a similarity between the curves of the water and the shapes included in the iconic formline imagery.  The comparison between the artworks provokes discussion about the origin of this imagery and its continued utilization in the present day. It is important to note the significant work that is included in the exhibition, especially Tom Hunt’s “ Kwaguʼ Thunderbird” from 1999. There are several artists based on Vancouver Island in the exhibit, and Hunt’s work is a key example of the master carver’s skill and artistic perspective. Another artist to note is Kevin Paul, also a master carver whose recently completed totem can be seen outside of the new La Conner Swinomish Library. Bringing all of these artists and their work together in conversation with David Hall’s photographs is quite the achievement, and visitors benefit greatly by learning more about formline along with the opportunity to experience many excellent examples in person.

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