Raven Skyriver grew up on Lopez Island, where he built forts in the woods, kayaked and sailed along the beaches, fished for salmon and soaked up everything he could about the natural world.
The well-known glass artist, who now lives near Pilchuck Glass School, northeast of Stanwood, is part of a new exhibition opening Saturday at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner.
In MoNA’s Benaroya Gallery, Skyriver will show Submerge — an exhibit dedicated to aquatic creatures of the Pacific Northwest. His glass subjects include a walrus, a humpback whale, otters, a lingcod and a Pacific chorus frog.
“The medium of glass lends itself well to the fluidity of marine life,” Skyriver said. “When you are working with glass, it actually becomes fluid and easily translates into the fluid motion of a sea creature.”
Now in his mid-30s, Skyriver started blowing glass in high school under the tutelage of Lark Dalton, who taught a traditional Venetian technique. After graduation, Skyriver studied and worked with Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen at Pilchuck Glass School and then joined the team of famed glass artist William Morris at Pilchuck. That’s where he met and married his wife, fellow glass artist Kelly O’Dell, who was featured at MoNA earlier this year. Their son is Wren, a budding artist.
“At Pilchuck I began to find my voice,” Skyriver said. “I started off making salmon, sometimes just the bones and the head. I wanted to talk about where our food comes from and the sustainability of our ecosystems. My goal was to capture the essence of an animal and imbue it with a bit of life. My hope is that people will look a bit longer and relate on a personal level.”
Skyriver shows his masterful work at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle and exhibits nationally. He also has been featured in group shows internationally.
Portland-based painter and sculptor Mel Katz also is featured in the current MoNA show. His exhibit is titled Choices.
If you go
See the work of glass artist Raven Skyriver of Stanwood and sculptor Mel Katz of Portland through Jan. 7 at the Museum of Northwest Art, 121 First St., La Conner. The show reception is at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 at the museum. Admission is free. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More at www.monamuseum.org or call 360-466-4446. Hear Skyriver talk about his work at 2 p.m. Nov. 4 at the museum.