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New Art and Sounds from the Pacific Northwest

Indie Folk: New Art and Sounds from the Pacific Northwest, guest curated by Melissa E. Feldman, is on view now through June 30 at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, California. The Pacific Northwest is home to a unique artistic ecosystem involving craft traditions, pre-industrial cultures, and Indigenous and settler histories. Indie Folk explores these themes through the lens of contemporary artworks by 17 artists who call the Northwest their home.

Intergenerational and employing a wide variety of styles and mediums, the featured artists find inspiration in the authenticity and resourcefulness of folk and other artistic genres rooted in the vernacular. While handmaking and materiality anchor most of the artworks in the exhibition, a few involve photography and video. Regardless of medium, the works are intended as meditations on the sense of place and identity engendered by small towns and rural communities in a digital and global era.

Feldman notes, “The concentration of work rooted in craft and folk traditions has been, until now, an undetected specialty of the region. Indie Folk is part of a nationwide reckoning with artists and histories that have been marginalized or ignored by mainstream art and conventional pathways into the art historical record.”

A selection of Indie Folk music, compiled by Portland, Oregon’s Mississippi Records, a record label and shop, plays throughout the galleries, suffusing them with the laid-back atmosphere of a front porch and, like the art, offering a fresh take on folk traditions.

Participating Artists
Brian Beck, Marita Dingus, Warren Dykeman, Joe Feddersen, Gaylen Hansen, Andrea Joyce Heimer, Sky Hopinka, Denzil Hurley, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, D.E. May, Jeffry Mitchell, Blair Saxon-Hill, Vince Skelly, Whiting Tennis, Cappy Thompson, Joey Veltkamp, and Mary Welcome.

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Indie Folk is organized by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman. Soundtrack compiled by Mississippi Records, Portland. The Museum of Craft and Design’s exhibitions and programs are generously supported by Anonymous, the Windgate Foundation, and Grants for the Arts.

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