New Tool Helps Locate Coast Salish Art in King County

Submitted by Kai Wise on
Sample shot of new website

A new resource, a website called “Visible on Ancestral Lands:  Coast Salish Public Art Works in King County,” documents the public art created by Coast Salish artists and installed in King County, that is, the art that is permanently installed in public locations for all to see.  The website was created by Crisca Bierwert, an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Washington. 

This is a collaborative project.  Crisca created the website by working with the Coast Salish artists who have public art in King County.  The commentaries on each art work were either written or approved by each individual artist.  Photographs were provided by the artists, by commercial photographers, or by the public agencies that funded the art.  Crisca also acknowledges many local indigenous leaders for contributing ideas to the website, and she acknowledges staff from local arts agencies for contributing information as well.

She sees the website not only as a resource in itself, but something that will encourage people to see the art work, rather than learn simply from the internet or from books.  On the website, under a tab labelled “All,” all the art works are listed, from the most recent to the oldest.  Seeing them together, a person can see that the themes and styles of Coast Salish art vary a great deal.  The artists’ commentaries also vary in how much they share and in what they share. 

There are actually three websites, one that groups the art work by theme ((e.g. Welcome Figures, Orcas, etc.).

A second version groups the art work by artist, with the eldest artist first:

The third site provides background information on Coast Salish history, Recent Coast Salish Art History, lists of artists, and so forth, along with more information about the website:

All three of these sites have links to one another.