preston singletary: raven and the box of daylight
october 3, 2018 - september 2, 2019
Raven and the Box of Daylight is the Tlingit story of Raven and his transformation of the world—bringing light to people via the stars, moon, and sun. This story holds great significance for the Tlingit people. The exhibition features a dynamic combination of artwork, storytelling, and encounter, where the Tlingit story unfolds during the visitor’s experience.
The glass art of Preston Singletary (American, born 1963) is rooted in the narrative of Raven and the Box of Daylight. Primarily known for his celebration of Tlingit art and design, Singletary will explore new ways of working with glass inspired by Tlingit design principles. Tlingit objects were traditionally used to show wealth and tell stories by representing elements of the natural world, as well as the histories of individual families. By drawing upon this tradition, Singletary’s art creates a unique theatrical atmosphere in which the pieces follow and enhance the exhibition narrative.
Artwork in the exhibition will be supported by the research of Walter Porter, a Tlingit mythologist and historian. Porter’s research provides a unique perspective about Tlingit cultural stories. He was well-known for his comparative work regarding other culture’s mythologies to the Raven story, and his research will be used to draw connections to universal themes and perspectives.
Visitors will be immersed in Tlingit culture through a dynamic, multi-sensory environment. Art objects and exhibition text will be supported by audio and video elements. This will include recordings by storytellers, music, recordings of Pacific Northwest coastal sounds, and a backdrop of shadows and projected images. The exhibition is active, surprising, and dramatic, and engages the viewer through sight and sound.
Oral histories and narratives are an essential part of the survival of Tlingit culture. Recordings of Tlingit storytellers will introduce visitors to the art form of Tlingit oral tradition. These oral performances tell the story of Raven and the light and include original music and sound effects to further enhance the visitor experience.
Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight takes visitors on an experiential journey with Raven, and the transformation of darkness into light.
Organized by Museum of Glass and Preston Singletary. Guest curated by Miranda Belarde-Lewis, PhD (Tlingit/Zuni). Exhibition presented by Chap and Eve Alvord. Catalog presented by Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation. Sponsored by Corinne Dixon, Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc., The Norcliffe Foundation. Additional support from Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Sealaska Heritage Institute, and Tribal Communities of the Salish Sea, and KCTS 9.