Marvin Oliver is one of the Northwest Coast’s foremost contemporary sculptors and printmakers, who has made strides in the art world for the development and recognition of Native American Contemporary Fine Art.
He has worked in a variety of media including cedar, bronze, steel and glass. The latest period of his work has been characterized by mixed-media pieces such as his blown glass ‘Salish Basket’ and ‘Spirit Board’ series with etched photographs and bronze ravens. He has also become renowned for the grand size of his sculptures such as the 26 foot long suspended steel and glass piece ‘Mystical Journey’ at the Seattle Children’s hospital. Oliver’s monumental public works have been installed throughout the state of Washington and the United States, Canada, Japan and Italy.
Oliver is Professor of American Indian Studies and Art at the University of Washington, and serves as Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum. He also holds a part-time post at the University of Alaska Ketchikan.
This multicoloured blanket reflects the majestic power of the Orca, a Pacific Northwest water mammal integral to the tribes of the Northwest Coast. We honour and celebrate the Orcas in their home waters of the Pacific Northwest, where they are known as a sign of good luck. The colorful Orca, with Raven as its dorsal fin, swims through the deep waters of the Pacific, catching the light of the sun along its journey. Viewing the blanket from bottom to top, the salmon, a vital resource for the Orca, swim in the deep blue waters of the ocean. The formline design Orca makes the yearly journey towards its home, where the forests and blue skies of the Pacific Northwest are represented in the top band.”
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