Raven and the Box of Daylight

Preston Singletary’s show at the Tacoma Museum of Glass ends Sept 2, which is too damned soon. If you can see it before it leaves (for Wichita and then The Smithsonian) do yourself a favor. Raven and the Box of Daylight is an exploration in glass of the Tlingit story of Raven releasing the light for human beings. Singletary calls his work modern traditionalist.

First of all, the art is brilliant: blown, sculpted and sand-carved glass of Raven, of a canoe and paddles, of the boxes containing starlight, moon and sun. These are big, bold pieces, carrying their parts of the story. The ravens, white before the theft is punished, are strong representations of the archetype, with sand-carved detailing white on white creating clan details and animals,  or revealing further layers and complexities in the body of the glass.

                   

photography © Russell Johnson , ©Museum of Glass, Tacoma WA

 

Secondly, the exhibit is mounted to show it to superb advantage. Kudos to Miranda Belarde-Lewis. The lighting shows each piece to best advantage, using dim light and spots to energize the glass. Shadows and projected images add extra life. Audio contains Tlingit oral histories, music and northwest beach sounds.

We were blown away.

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