Visual Artwork as a Land Acknowledgement

Ora Sawyers

To Rejoice Indigenous American Heritage Month! 

The Port of Seattle exists on Indigenous land. We acknowledge the ancestral homelands of these who walked below ahead of us and those people who continue to wander right here, holding in thoughts the integrity of this territory the place Native peoples recognize as the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Puyallup, as nicely as the tribes of the Muckleshoot, Tulalip, other Coast Salish peoples, and their descendants. We are grateful to respectfully live and perform as company on these lands with the Coast Salish and Native people today who connect with this dwelling. This land acknowledgment is one particular tiny act in the ongoing process of functioning to be in good connection with the land and the men and women of the land. 

To rejoice Indigenous American Heritage thirty day period, the Port highlights the most the latest artwork installations in the Global Arrivals Facility (IAF)! All the artworks explained underneath ended up produced by Indigenous American artists. Prior to telling you the tales of these newest artworks at Seattle-Tacoma Intercontinental Airport (SEA), let us give credit where credit is owing.  

This initiative started in the Tumble of 2020 with a group of 10 Port superior university interns who introduced the thought of incorporating Indigenous art and lifestyle at SEA: 

  • Alana Chiefstick  
  • Ah-Nika-Leesh Chiquiti  
  • Kailyn Choy  
  • Charlotte and Teresa Paddock from Main Kitsap Academy 
  • Jasmine Dorman  
  • Mackenzie Lobehan  
  • Armando Luna-Salgado  
  • Kalani Thompson, and  
  • Katelyn Forde from Muckleshoot Tribal School  

In July 2021, the Port Commission approved $475,000 to get Indigenous Art of the Pacific Northwest location. The Community Artwork Application experienced two main aims: 

  1. To welcome global tourists to the area by building a visible representation of a Land Acknowledgement  
  2. Aid nearby and regional artists most likely impacted by the pandemic

Rest confident, this is the initially of several long term opportunities that the General public Artwork method wants to choose to diversify its assortment. 

In the Fall of 2021, 30 items of art ended up purchased from regional galleries. Quick-forward to Fall 2022, and voila the artworks are for the most element mounted in the IAF. 

Here’s what you will see in your future visit: 

Joe Feddersen

White Horse/Crimson Solar Suite, 2020-2021  

Born in Omak (WA), Joe Feddersen is affiliated with The Confederated Tribes of The Colville Reservation (Okanagan and Lakes).  

For Feddersen, his operate “investigates signal and cultural identification. This inquiry merges fundamental aspects of basket layouts from my ancestral home, the Inland Plateau region of the Columbia Basin, with urban imagery to discuss to perceptions of land. My print do the job builds from a dialogue with conventional basket patterns. The prints ordinarily construct complexity via layering signals. These indicators tenuously dissolve into an general area when still keeping immediate ties to my native heritage.” 

Raya Friday 

Water Series, 2022 


Raya Friday was born in Seattle and is a member of the Lummi nation whose tribal lands are located on the edge of the Salish Sea near Bellingham (WA). Drinking water Sequence is situated subsequent to baggage declare 24 in a huge exhibition circumstance where you will find these 11 delicate and astonishing glass artworks. 

“The Drinking water Baskets series is an exploration of the foundational way h2o has formed the area, both equally culturally and environmentally, and how this fundamental component of [Friday’s] identity and survival is now currently being threatened by local climate alter. The hues and texture of these blown glass items is inspired by the fragile and enduring attributes of seashore glass. The cedar and wire features characterize her hope that both of those conventional and contemporary knowledge can get the job done collectively to protect the everyday living forces of this land.” (The Stonington Gallery). 

Preston Singletary

Kéet, 2012 


Singletary is a Tlingit of the Eagle moiety — just one of two tribal societal teams — and a member of the spouse and children house team of Kaagwaantaan. 

As you stand on the mezzanine, admiring this model -new facility, acquire a handful of minutes to observe Kéet by Singletary. Kéet is the Tlingit word for Killer Whale and is also the artist’s principal crest symbol.  

“The unique wooden sculpture was carved by David Svenson and depicts the Killer Whale with an Eagle on the top representing my household symbols. Emerging from the mouth of the Killer Whale is a Thunderbird, which was the clan that Svenson was adopted into. The base sort is a double headed wolf, as a kind of soul catcher and morphing into a 3-dimensional wolf at the middle.” 

For years, Singletary has also been captivating audiences with classic cultural objects in blown glass such as brightly colored glass baskets, like Red Glass Berry Basket with Brown Lip (2021). 

Lisa Telford 

  • Black Banded Basket, 2018 
  • Women’s Get the job done Basket with Raven’s Hood Design and style -— Fantastic Warp, 2014 
  • Woven Bustier, 2018 
  • Woven Kid’s Cowboy Boots, 2018


Lisa Telford is a Native Haida employing Northwest Coast-design and style weaving methods. An exhibit circumstance in the vicinity of baggage assert 23 shows four artworks by Telford in the reduced part you can see two common baskets, and in the upper segment there are two up to date garments (a bustier and a pair of cowboy boots).  

“Her do the job serves as a commentary on Indigenous identity, stereotypes, and trend. As a Git’ans Git’anee Haida weaver, Lisa Telford will come from a long line of weavers, together with her grandmother, mom, aunt, and cousins. Her work encompasses baskets, standard hats, and cedar bark outfits. She thinks that Haida Basketry was vital for survival yrs back, and thus, the splendor of this lifestyle-offering craft really should be celebrated via continuing the custom and honoring nature with each and every new piece.” (The Stonington Gallery

Gail Tremblay (Mi’kmaq/Onondaga) 


  • Grandmother Moon Reflecting Elder Brother Solar, 2010 
  • As Prolonged as the Rivers Operate …, 2013 
  • Native Ingenuity, 2013 
  • Preserving Indigenous Systems, 2013 
  • What Transpires When Civilization Melts The Ice?, 2016 
  • Grandmother Moon Reflecting Elder Brother Sunshine, 2010 

Gail Tremblay is descended from Onondaga and Mi’Kmaq ancestors and resides in Olympia (WA). Tremblay weaves her baskets applying 16mm film inventory, colored film leader of many measurements, and gold metallic braid, alternatively of employing the common product of sweetgrass. The cause behind these non-regular elements is that the artist wishes to remark on indigenous daily life in the 21st century and simply call focus to the devastating influence of world-wide warming.

“I observed movie was an interesting material to weave, and I appreciated the notion of recycling film and getting command about a medium that had historically been used by both Hollywood and documentary filmmakers to stereotype American Indians.” (From Correspondence amongst the Froelick Gallery and the artist, June 2020). 

What happens when the civilization melts the Ice? is a basket woven with 16mm movie from a collection of perform that makes use of film stock from a 1967 documentary about Inuit society known as “At the Winter season Sea Ice Camp.” In her operate, Tremblay captures the background of her culture and the effect weather transform is owning on her individuals.

She states that “the film is striving to make it seem like Inuit lifestyle doesn’t adjust, although at the exact time, the whole entire world is changing very, so a lot so that in the next 50 several years, it’s pretty much unattainable to do what your ancestors did.” (Correspondence among the Froelick Gallery and the artist, June 2020). 

Marie Watt 

Canopy (Omphalos), 2007 


Born in Seattle (WA), Marie Watt now operates and life in Portland (OR) and is a member of the Seneca Country of Indians. As you are about to go away the IAF it will be tough for you to pass up this 8-foot-tall sculpture by Marie Watt. Textile plays a major job into the artist’s human body of operate. Watt began collecting wool blankets from thrift stores in purchase to assemble totem- and ladder-like sculptures. On a far more personalized stage, blankets in her tribe and other native communities are specified absent to honor people today witnessing critical existence gatherings. 

Produced of Alaskan yellow cedar, “Canopy (Omphalos) is a continuation of the artist’s exploration of wool blankets, their heritage of staying handed down from generation to technology, and the human tales uncovered in just these each day objects as shelter companies and symbols of safety.” (from Greg Kucera Gallery

Works to come 

By the close of 2023, two additional pieces of artwork will be installed at SEA.  

  • One particular is a 4-foot-tall neon piece by neighborhood artist Dan Friday (Lumni), Cuomo Kulshan (Mt. Baker and bear)  
  • The next piece is getting produced by area artist Brian Perry (S’Klallam)  
Remain tuned for more General public Artwork updates by following @FlySEA!  
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