Crow’s Shadow: Exquisite Native Beauty

June 23rd, 2013  |  Published in Art, Culture, Education

O’siyo. Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for Native Americans to develop their artistic skills. CSIA was incorporated in 1992 by renowned Native artist James Lavadour (Walla Walla) and his friends, with the idea of using art as a transformative tool within the Native American community. The National Museum of the American Indian’s Gustav Heye Center in New York City is presenting the exhibit, Making Marks: Prints from Crow’s Shadow from now until January 5, 2014.

Painting by artist James Lavadour (Walla Walla)- Tremor 6, 2012 oil on wood Photo- PDX

Painting by artist James Lavadour (Walla Walla)- Tremor 6, 2012 oil on wood Photo- PDX

Excerpt: Contemporary Native Artwork From Umatilla, ICTMN Staff

“ Crow’s Shadow is located on the Umatilla rez of the Arts is housed within the historic St. Andrews mission schoolhouse, itself situated at the base of the Blue Mountain foothills on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.

Crow's Shadow is located on the Umatilla rez in the gorgeous foothills of Oregon's Blue Mountains. Photo ICTMN

Crow’s Shadow is located on the Umatilla rez in the gorgeous foothills of Oregon’s Blue Mountains. Photo ICTMN

Since 1992, it has been a peaceful and inspiring place to go and create art and a gathering place for contemporary Native artists. The nonprofit institute draws artists from around the world to its state-of-the-art printmaking studio, Crow’s Shadow Press. Its goal is to provide opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development.

Wendy Red Star, from the series Thunder Up Above, 2011, C-Prints. Photo-  Salt Lake NewsLetter

Wendy Red Star, from the series Thunder Up Above, 2011, C-Prints. Photo-  Salt Lake NewsLetter

It’s now the extraordinary contemporary artwork being created at Crow’s Shadow that is drawing much deserved attention.

Facing Left Raven by Rick Bartow (Wiyot). Photo- NMAI.

Facing Left Raven by Rick Bartow (Wiyot). Photo- NMAI.

The exhibition showcases 18 works by seven contemporary Native American artists: Rick Bartow, Wiyot, Phillip John Charette, Yup’ik, Joe Fedderson, Colville Confederated Tribes, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Cheyenne/Arapaho, James Lavadour, Walla Walla, Wendy Red Star, Crow, and Marie Watt, Seneca. 

RAKU Amikuk mask by Phillip John Charette. Photo-

RAKU Amikuk mask by Phillip John Charette. Photo-

Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds, Neuf Series #36 (detail) 1992:2003. Acid dyes on silk. Photo- FWM.

Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds, Neuf Series #36 (detail) 1992:2003. Acid dyes on silk. Photo- FWM.

Joe Fedderson (Colville Confederated Tribes) Red Coyote. Photo- Froelick Gallery.

Joe Fedderson (Colville Confederated Tribes) Red Coyote. Photo- Froelick Gallery.

Marie Watt (Seneca) Migration and Community. Photo- University of Oregon.

Marie Watt (Seneca) Migration and Community. Photo- University of Oregon.

The prints in Making Marks were collaborations between Crow’s Shadow master printer Frank Janzen and visiting artists; they are part of the Crow’s Shadow permanent collection.

To learn more about Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, go to CrowsShadow.org.

“I believe that a painting must stand up on its own without explanation. I think of myself as an abstract action painter. I just happen to see landscape in the abstract events of paint.” ~James Lavadour~