North West American Native Art

Preston Singletary art glass


 Preston Singletary


Preston Singletary’s artistic direction shifted in the early 1990’s to re-connecting with his Native American influences and his Tlingit roots. North Pacific Coast artists such as Joe Brown gave him guidance to integrate spiritual and cultural aspects into his designs and delve into his ancestral past. Southwest Native symbols, animal spirits, icons, sacred motifs, supernatural beings and transformative themes became a focal point in his art. His interest in the “primitivism” of the Modern Art Movement”, where schematic abstract forms were expressed to embody the outside and inner worlds also became a key element in his interpretation of the indigenous art.
His works abound with myths and legends shown through using sacred natural designs such as wolves, frogs, bears, ravens, eagles, orcas, and humans; legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls. Characteristic abstract designs are depicted with patterns following the formline styles of this Northwest Coastal Art. His cultural exploration is expressed with continuous, flowing, curvilinear lines that turn, swell and diminish in a prescribed manner with characteristic shapes such as ovoids, U forms and S forms.


Bill Reid gold Dogfish Brooch, c. 1959. From ‘Bill Reid’ by Doris Shadbolt

During the early 20th century, very few First Nations artists in the Northwest Coast region were producing art. However the mid-20th century saw a revival of interest and production of Northwest Coast art, due to the influence of artists such as Bill Reid. This has continued and expanded with newer generations and Preston Singletary’s art exemplifies this. He has chosen a fresh medium of glass to represent his dynamic styles and his training included working with Venetian glass legend Lino Tagliapietra, and studying Swedish design at Kosta Boda. He has also collaborated with other glass and ceramic artists in the USA , Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia to diversify and broaden his skills and examples of this are shown below. Also two pieces of art by New Zealand Maori’s are displayed due to the similarities of the Northwest Coastal Art to the traditional styles of the Pacific Islanders.

” My work continues to evolve and connect my personal cultural perspective to current modern art movements, and I have received much attention for striving to keep the work fresh and relevant. I have been honored that my success has inspired other artists from underrepresented indigenous cultures to use glass and other non-traditional materials in their work, and hope that I can continue to encourage more innovation in this area as my career progresses. ” ~ Preston Singletary


Black and white vase - Checkered Turtles --Jody Naranjo & Preston Singletary American native art

‘Checkered Turtles’ vase — Jody Naranjo & Preston Singletary

Sculpture - Family Story Totem - Preston Singletary - American Native Art

    ‘Family Story Totem’ – Preston Singletary

            Image of Tsagiglalal, Guardian Nihhluidih

Tsagiglalal, Guardian Nihhluidih

Columbia Hills State Park, USA

        Black and white bird sculpture - Into The Woods (2013) - Preston Singletary

 ‘Into The Woods’  – Preston Singletary

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Bird motif - Carved ceramic Loon Bowl - Stewart Jacobs

‘Loon Bowl’  – Stewart Jacobs

Carved ceramic 2005

The Loon perceived by the Northwest Coast People as being carriers of power and magic,  is recognized for its spirit of peace, tranquility and generosity.

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        Jody Naranjo vase with flying birds

Jody Naranjo natural clay vase

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        Jody-Naranjo fish motif vessel - ---Blue-Rain-Gallery

“The Calm of Winter” – Jody Naranjo

Blue Rain Gallery

Red and white vase - Jody Naranjo and Preston Singletary Collaboration---Blue Rain Gallery

Jody Naranjo and Preston Singletary Collaboration—Blue Rain Gallery

        Jody-Naranjo---contemporary Pueblo pottery - sgraffito bird motif vessel

Jody Naranjo—contemporary Peublo pottery

Blue Rain Gallery

Red glass vessel - Peacocks on Parade -- Jody Naranjo & Preston Singletary

‘Peacocks on Parade’ — Jody Naranjo & Preston Singletary collaboration

Blue Rain Gallery

      Glass vessel - Horse Stampede by Jody Naranjo and Preston Singletary

‘Horse Stampede’  – Jody Naranjo and Preston Singletary

    New Zealand sculpture -  Kiwi by Kerry Kapua Thompson, Māori artist

‘Kiwi’  by, New Zealand Māori artist Kerry Kapua Thompson

        Kotuku (White Heron) by Rex Homan, Māori artist

‘Kotuku’ (White Heron) by Māori artist Rex Homan

        Glass sculpture Levitate by Preston Singletary

Glass sculpture  ‘Levitate’ by Preston Singletary

      American North West Coastal Indian Traditional Mask painted in black, white and red

American North West Coastal Indian Mask

        Indian Art -- Pattern Board for a Chilkat Tunic, paint wood, c. 1840

Pattern Board for a Chilkat Tunic, painted wood, c. 1840

        Preston Singletary & Tammy Garcia-2008-~-sandcarved glass in black and white

Preston Singletary & Tammy Garcia-2008-~-sand carved glass vase

( Blue Rain Gallery / Santa Fe New Mexico )

        Preston Singletary, Emblem of creation--2013

Preston Singletary, ‘Emblem of  Creation’ –2013

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Preston Singletary and Dante Marioni etched vessel

Preston Singletary and Dante Marioni glass vase

        Preston Singletary, - Gray Whale,- 2013

Preston Singletary,  – ‘Gray Whale’,- 2013

        Preston Singletary Great Whale glass sculpture

Preston Singletary ‘Great Whale’ sandblasted  glass sculpture


Preston Singletary – Tlingit Basket

          Glass sculpture Preston Singletary Two Wolves and the Moon 2013+D1-20.75-x-6-x-4

Preston Singletary ‘Two Wolves and the Moon’ 2013

Height 20.75 inches

            Preston Singletary --- Blue Rain Gallery totem sculpture

Preston Singletary — Blue Rain Gallery

        Preston Singletary working in his studio - Blue Rain Gallery--Santa Fe New Mexico

Preston Singletary  – Blue Rain Gallery–Santa Fe, New Mexico

      Sndblaste sculpture by Preston Singletary Journey to the Land of the Dead - 2014

Preston Singletary –  ‘Journey to the Land of the Dead’ – sandblasted glass


Preston-Singletary-Frog-tongue-2013 - glass sculpture

 Preston Singletary – ‘Frog tongue’ 2013

            Preston Singletary--- Whale and Eagle --- bronze sculpture ---height-18 inches

‘Whale and Eagle’  — bronze sculpture – Preston Singletary


          Raven's Eye-(2) sculpture---Preston Singletary & Ross Richmond

‘Raven’s Eye’ — Preston Singletary & Ross Richmond

        Return from the Other World (2013 - Preston Singletary

‘Return from the Other World’  – Preston Singletary


  The Boy with the Light --- Preston Singletary

 ‘The Boy with the Light’  — Preston Singletary  – 0v0id glass sculpture

    Glass sculpture -Spirit of a goose-2012---Preston Singletary North West Native Art

‘Spirit of a goose’ -2012—Preston Singletary

        Tammy Garcia---Thunderbird Pop---natural clay with turquoise inlay

Tammy Garcia — ‘Thunderbird Pop’ — natural clay with turquoise inlay

( Blue Rain Gallery / Santa Fe New Mexico )

      Tlingit Crest Hat by Preston Singletary,2007

‘Tlingit Crest Hat’ by Preston Singletary,2007

            North West Indian Totem pole sculpture - Skinner

North West Indian Totem pole sculpture

( Skinner )

          Blown and sand carved glass, in collaboration with Tammy Garcia and Preston Singletary - Anasazi Dragonfly

‘Anasazi Dragonfly’

 by Preston Singletary and Tammy Garcia ,2007

Blown and sandcarved glass, in collaboration with Preston Singletary

          Green glass and copper - Translucent Copper (2013)---Preston Singletary

Translucent Copper (2013)—Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary and Dante Marioni


Vancouver Island Tribe, circa 1900, potlatch dance mask, at the National Museum of the American Indian exhibition “An Infiinity of Nations”

           Preston Singletary blown glass sculpture abstract bird motif

 Preston Singletary blown glass sculpture

Robert Davidson


Barbara Brotherton from the Seattle Art Museum claims that Canadian Robert Davidson is at the foundation level of reconstructing culture through visual art. “ For a long time what was called a ‘renaissance’ is really a reformulation and a rebirth of visual traditions that had been lost. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, after he’d studied the deeper meanings and age-old principles behind Haida art and design, that “abstract impulses” started flowing through his own paintings and carvings “, Brotherton says.
One of the interesting things about Davidson’s work is that while it obviously pays homage to the techniques, motifs and narratives that came before, it is distinctly of his own time. ( via )
Davidson states that “ each one of us is connected to the ancient ways by a thin thread. And when we come together, we form a thick rope “  The same can be said for the collective contribution of the North West native artists in rediscovering  their ancient art.

          Robert Davidson modern sculpture - Salmon Trout Head_15x11x6

Robert Davidson ‘Salmon Trout Head’

15 x 11 x 6

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            Wooden wall sculpture, Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird, by Robert Davidson

Wooden sculpture, ‘Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird ‘, by Robert Davidson

Supernatural Eye sculpture by Robert Davidson

‘Supernatural Eye’ ( sliver ) sculpture by Robert Davidson

( Spirit Wrestler Gallery)

          'Canoe Breaker' (Southeast Wind’s Brother), 2010, acrylic on canvas

‘Canoe Breaker’ (Southeast Wind’s Brother), 2010, acrylic on canvas

Robert Davidson

Woman with Labret- Robert Davidson mask

‘Woman With Labret’  – Robert Davidson mask

"Meeting at the Center" by Robert Davidson Vancouver sculpture

“Meeting at the Center”  by Robert Davidson

Vancouver, Canada

Don Yeomans Butterfly panel

Don Yeomans – ‘Butterfly’ panel

( Douglas Reynolds Gallery )

William Nahanee wood carved sculpture

‘Snake and Raven Burl Carving’ – William Nahanee

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Jim Charlie Sea Bear wall panel

Jim Charlie ‘Sea Bear’ panel

( Douglas Reynolds Gallery )

'Wasco & Killer Whales' by Haida artist Marcel Russ.

‘ Wasco & Killer Whales ‘  by Haida artist Marcel Russ.

Table with glass top insert over carving.

( Douglas Reynolds Gallery )



1 Comment

  1. Arthur Bosisio
    Posted August 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much. It is the most extraordinary site I have ever seen. Comprehensive, very well organized, plenty of information, beautiful. It is a wonderful trip around the world of ceramics and their artists.

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