"Art of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast"

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"Salmon Totem"

(acrylic/stain on wood 13 1/2 X 26)

Original - $1,450 U.S.

The lives of the "First Peoples" of the Northwest Coast revolved around the salmon. The various species provided their major food source and the natives worked hard to catch and prepare enough to last through the winter. Anyone who's been to a northwest "salmon bake" will attest to the delicious cuisine of this area. The salmon also provided a major source of inspiration for art and stories and were thought to be a separate tribe living under the waters. This striking piece shows a Tlingit influence in its design. The form inside the salmon represents "Raven" who was quite instrumental in creating the first salmon while the circle inside the bill symbolizes the sun which "Raven" placed in the sky.

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This detail gives you a closer look at how this piece was made. The totem is first sketched onto birch and then each piece is cut out, sanded, primed, and painted or stained, then varnished. The totem is then reassembled on the painted masonite. They are framed using a satin white moulding without glass. Keep in mind that the whites in this piece are pure white and are much whiter than represented in this photo.

These totems have a very contemporary look while owing their origins to traditional design structures. They have the appearance of paper sculptures and their appearance can vary from subtle to dramatic depending on the lighting source.

This technique is perfect for artwork needed for large home areas and corporate settings. They can be made to fit virtually any size requirements and take approximately 3 weeks to construct. Special considerations can also be made for any personal preferences. Feel free to contact me via e-mail for further information and I'll answer any questions you may have.

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