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Native Visions Reimagined in Glass
by Letitia Chambers
The expertise of Native glass artists, in combination with the stories of their cultures, has produced a remarkable new artistic genre. This flowering of glass art in Indian Country is the result of the coming together of two movements that began in the 1960s?the contemporary Native arts movement, championed by Lloyd Kiva New, and the studio glass art movement, founded by American glass artists such as Dale Chihuly, who started several early teaching programs. Taken together, these two movements created a new dimension of cultural and artistic expression. The glass art created by American Indian artists is not only a personal expression but also imbued with cultural heritage. Whether reinterpreting traditional iconography or expressing current issues, Native glass artists have created a rich body of work. These artists have melded the aesthetics and properties inherent in glass art with their respective cultural knowledge. The result is the stunning collection of artwork presented here. A number of American Indian artists were attracted to glass early in the movement, including Larry “Ulaaq” Ahvakana and Tony Jojola. Among the second generation of Native glass blowers are Preston Singletary, Daniel Joseph Friday, Robert “Spooner” Marcus, Raven Skyriver, Raya Friday, Brian Barber, and Ira Lujan. This book also highlights the glass works of major multimedia artists including Ramson Lomatewama, Marvin Oliver, Susan Point, Haila (Ho-Wan-Ut) Old Peter, Joe David, Joe Fedderson, Angela Babby, Ed Archie NoiseCat, Tammy Garcia, Carol Lujan, Rory Erler Wakemup, Lillian Pitt, Adrian Wall, Virgil Ortiz, Harlan Reano, Jody Naranjo, and several others. Four indigenous artists from Australia and New Zealand, who have collaborated with American Indian artists, are also included. This comprehensive look at this new genre of art includes multiple photographs of the impressive works of each artist.
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