It takes art collectors (not all who are wealthy) with a passion for artistic expression and a longing for friendships with artists to support the flow of creativity in this world.
This is the not-so-obvious message behind a new exhibit at the Schack Art Center titled Courtesy Of: Extraordinary Basketry, Textiles and Sculptures from Northwest Collections.
The show, displayed in the Schack’s mezzanine gallery through July 29, highlights the Northwest coast native art collections of John and Joyce Price, and Nancy Kovalik and her family.
The guest curator for the exhibit is award-winning fiber artist Jan Hopkins, the wife of Everett painter Chris Hopkins, a veteran Schack exhibitor. The show is displayed in conjunction with the National Basketry Organization Conference in Tacoma in July.
“The Price and Kovalik families have deep connections to the art they collect,” Jan Hopkins said. “It’s about the personal relationships with the artists.”
In the case of the Kovalik collection, the motivation to support art also includes an appreciation for those who carry on, revive and teach traditional skills. And in this case, especially among the Haida Gwaii (British Columbia) family of First Nations weaver Delores Churchhill.
The Kovaliks also collected a series of paintings by Chris Hopkins that honor Northwest native culture and artists. Several of these are displayed as well.
Among others, the Price collection features the award-winning modern print work of the late Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak, who grew up on Baffin Island.
The Courtesy Of exhibit offers a real mix of traditional and contemporary basketry, textiles, sculptures and prints by leading Northwest coast native artists, including Lisa Telford, a Haida artist and niece of Delores Churchill. Be sure to see Telford’s woven cedar high heels.
Another must-see is a carving by Joe David, a contemporary Nuu-chah-nulth artist, of his grandson.
“I love this piece because it speaks to the connections between the generations,” Jan Hopkins said. “It’s endearing because Joe David is saying, ‘This is the future.’”
Other artists featured in the exhibit include Primrose Adams, Arnaqu Ashevak, Dempsey Bob, Robert A. Boxley, Robert R. Boxley, April Churchill, Holly Churchill, Pat Courtney-Gold, Brenda Crabtree, Reg Davidson, Robert Davidson, Carol Emarthle-Douglas, Joe Fedderson, Mary Ellen Frank, Luke Itsiktaaryuk, Selina Peratrovich, Isabelle and Robin Rorick, Cheryl Samuel, Nick Sikkuark, Carrie Ann Vanderhoop, Evelyn Vanderhoop, Frances Williams, Hazel Wilson and Jane Wiseman.
“It was a privilege to choose artwork from two prominent art collections that contain some of the best indigenous art from the Northwest,” Hopkins said.