Nicholas Galanin: Culture and Perception

I asked artist Nicholas Galanin (R) if I could use this photo to introduce his work because of its multi-layered irony: Make America Great Again . . . To his right is a canoe that is being carved using traditional Tlingit (First Nation) tools and methods. Follow its progress on @silverjackson on Instagram.

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Born in Sitka, Alaska, NICHOLAS GALANIN has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and the course of his practice. Having trained extensively in ‘traditional’ as well as ‘contemporary’ approaches to art, he pursues them both in parallel paths. His stunning bodies of work simultaneously preserve his culture and explore new perceptual territory. Galanin 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 has found the best of both worlds and has given them back to his audience in stunning form.

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