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.
Our Rivers Ancestors This original blanket design is titled “Our Rivers Ancestors”. “This blanket is a tribute to our Native Peoples ancestors, the Salmon. We honour and celebrate the Salmons life cycle and return home to their riverbeds after the long and arduous journey at sea. The bottom of the blanket represents the Raven and the top border of the blanket depicts the Eagle (two important family crests). Viewing the blanket from the bottom to the top, the salmon are in the deep, cold depths of the ocean returning to their rivers. The salmon in the middle of the blanket are home in the river preparing their nest for the new generation, represented by the egg. The top band of salmon represents the new generation returning and maturing at sea to complete the vital cycle of life”.
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