Countless generations of Native American children have heard the story of Raven, a bird spirit whose fantastical journey transforms darkness into light. Tlingit oral history has preserved the rich narratives that are foundational for the Northwest culture, and Raven helped shape the world and released the stars, moon, and sun. In the exhibition, this story unfolds as visitors progress through one scene and staged environment more beautiful and arresting than the last. Recordings of storytellers pair with original music and Northwest soundscapes. Projected imagery and theatrical lighting complete the gallery experience.
To create the exhibition, Singletary collaborated with many. Tlingit culture spans a vast territory, and dozens of Raven stories are told throughout the Pacific Northwest, each featuring subtle distinctions. Singletary relied on the scholarship of Walter Porter (American Tlingit, 1944–2013), and he worked with guest curator Dr. Miranda Belarde-Lewis (American Tlingit-Zuni) to shape the compelling, accurate narrative for the exhibition. He also collaborated with multi-media artist Juniper Shuey of the artistic partnership zoe | juniper for the imaginative installation.
Preston Singletary learned glassblowing in the Seattle area working with Dante Marioni, Benjamin Moore, and others. The Pilchuck Glass School in the woods outside Seattle, founded by artist Dale Chihuly, was an important touchstone for honing technique and artistry. Singletary also trained at Kosta Boda in Sweden and with Venetian glass masters including Lino Tagliapietra and Pino Signoretto. The artist has a prized, international following, and his art is included in museum collections including The British Museum in London, National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and Seattle Art Museum, among many others.
Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight is organized by Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, and Preston Singletary.