Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Preston Singletary Show Tacoma

Preston Singletary, Seattle-based glass artist embodies symbol, design and spirit in his recently opened exhibition called “Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows” at the Tacoma Museum of Glass.
Organizers have compiled work from only the last 15 years of Singletary's career in glass – the years after he made the decision to "find a Tlingit voice in that medium."
Tlingit is a Northwestern American Indian Tribe and the theme of the works in glass embody the motifs of this northern "rainforest" tribe's characteristic reliefs from their famous totem poles and woven blankets.

“Echoes” is the name of the exhibit. According to The News Tribune, "the work reverberates with tribal intensity", although from the pictures it seems the glass works themselves are smooth and industrial looking. They refer in spirit to the carved and painted wood of the Tlingit tribe.

The review of the show, Rosemary Ponnekanti, of The News Tribune says: "Singletary’s ability to merge the aesthetics of different media shows in his 2008 “Eagle” and “Raven” dance staffs, among a dozen works created specifically for this show." The glass works are nearly six feet high. The glass is opaque and looks like wood, "while offering stark textural contrast to the human hair locks curling down their spines."

Unfortunately, says Ms Ponnekanti, there’s also an annoying DVD projection (not by Singletary) of Alaskan wilderness overlaid with cheesy “spirit” silhouettes and feel-good New Age soundtrack.

We say this is predictable for museum shows. Wonder what Preston thinks of this?
Cool work, Preston. With shades of Fine Craft Art. Keep it up. Looking for more inspiration? How about a series on the current tribe of Northwest Urban natives? A Latte blanket?

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum is producing 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.

“Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows”
Where: Museum of Glass, 1801 Dock St., Tacoma
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. third Thursdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 19
Admission: $12 general, $10 seniors, students and military, $10 per person for groups of 10 adults or more, $5 ages 6-12, $36 family, free for members and children younger than 5 Information: 1-866-4-MUSEUM, www.museumofglass.org

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