Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast

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Author: Ian M. Thom

Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Year: 2009

Genre: Art

186 pages

Contemporary First Nations artists of the Northwest Coast have long been among the most dynamic, important artists working in North America. Their art is a visible manifestation of the extraordinary cultural explosion that has transformed First Nations life up and down the B.C. coast.

Through their own words and artwork, Ian Thom examines the career, working methods and philosophy of forty active artists, all of whom he has interviewed. Featured in Challenging Traditions are their works, often combining new materials and old traditions, as well as extensive passages from conversations with these established and up-and-coming artists from the Pacific Northwest Coast, including:

  • the painting and sculpture of Robert Davidson (Haida)
  • glass sculpture by Alano Edzerza (Tahltan) and Preston Singletary (Tlingit)
  • carvings by elders Dempsey Bob (Tahltan-Tlingit) and Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
  • paintings by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish)
  • the “Haida manga” of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
  • jewellery by young artists Shawn Hunt (Heiltsuk) and Jay Simeon (Haida)