Date of Press Release: Nov. 15, 2011
Nicholas Galanin “New Culture”.
November 18, 7 p.m., Egan Lecture Hall.
The last Evening at Egan of the 2011 Fall Lecture Series is a special presentation by renowned Sitka Native artist Nicholas Galanin. Galanin’s works often portray traditional themes in contemporary ways. Examples include his own profile cut from the text of 1000 pages of Under Mt. St. Elias and a series of indigenous masks that appear to be made of flowery English china, the kind used for tea cups. His presentation will focus on creative perspective and process.
"I welcome variables and am excited by discovery through process; a huge part of being creative is experimentation, risk, and open-mindedness," said Galanin in an interview for the UAS literary journal, Tidal Echoes. "This is how we progress."
Nicholas Galanin is of Tlingit and Aleut descent. He studied at the London Guildhall University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with honors in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing and at Massey University in New Zealand earning a Master’s degree in Indigenous Visual Arts. Valuing his culture as highly as his individuality, Galanin has created an unusual path for himself. He deftly navigates “the politics of cultural representation”, as he balances both ends of the aesthetic spectrum. With a fiercely independent spirit, Galanin finds the best of both worlds and gives back to his audience in stunning form.
The Evening at Egan presentation comes at a busy time for Galanin. A solo exhibition of his work opens November 15 at the Toronto Free Gallery. "Nicholas Galanin's First Law of Motion" is described as "the movement of culture and its transformation. Galanin examines the state of culture arrested by colonialism and kitsched by tourism."
In Toronto Galanin will give an artist’s talk and then perform as his alter ego Silver Jackson. Silver Jackson is a musical project that mixes broken blues to lo-fi folk. A newly released CD titled, "It’s Glimmering Now" is available for download on-line.
Juneau CD release parties are set for Friday and Saturday nights Nov. 18-19 at the Alaskan. Also playing will be the OC Notes, Diatribe NW and Nicole Church. In Sitka, Galanin runs the grass roots summer Home Skillet music festival.
His art work is part of "Kindred Spirits, Native American Influences on 20th Century Art," now on exhibit at Peter Blum’s Soho location in New York City and featured in the recently published book, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art (ed. Karen Kramer Russell). Shapeshifting "challenges stereotypical assumptions of Native American art by focusing on objects as art rather than cultural or anthropological artifacts and on the multivalent creativity of Native American artists."
Galanin’s advice to aspiring artists? "Take risks. Make moves on your ideas; don’t let them live only in the sketch book. Succeed, fail, grow. Open your eyes, be you, forgets what’s expected and contribute to new culture."
For complete information on the UAS Evening at Egan series including live streaming and simulcast, please see the Website at: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/eganlecture