We Are Water

Pier 62 | Free
Thursday October 12, 2023, 12 am–11 pm
Monday October 16, 2023, 12 am–11 pm
Saturday October 21, 2023, 11 am–3 pm
Friday October 27, 2023, 12 am–11 pm
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The We Are Water multidisciplinary arts festival celebrates Indigenous creatives in Seattle, past and present. It includes artists commissioned for public art pieces coming to the future Waterfront Park. Art installations and activities are planned throughout October.

Join yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective as they bring together multidisciplinary Native artists to share about their work, present on Indigenous cultural practices, and provide interactive activities for the public.

Water has shaped our region and its residents since time immemorial. Our connection with the ocean is finally becoming more visible in Seattle’s urban landscape with a series of new, high-profile civic building projects. As part of this work, many Coast Salish and urban Indigenous culture keepers have been commissioned to create major public artworks along Seattle’s newly redesigned Waterfront and adjacent downtown corridors. Their work will transform not only the waterfront but the way Indigenous presence is felt in Seattle’s public spaces. This actualization of land acknowledgments provides a model that needs to be shared collectively. The We Are Water multidisciplinary arts festival celebrates Indigenous creatives in Seattle, past and present.

The general public is invited to visit and admire the art installations at Pier 62 and learn about the future public artworks in progress by Indigenous artists at Waterfront Park.

Workshop participation will prioritize attendance for those who identify as Indigenous.

Check back for more details to be announced!

Raven and a community member create flags during the Waterfront Block Party in early September. Photo by Jo Cosme.

Flags created during the Waterfront Block Party, facilited by yehaw

Yehaw's fla

We Are Water: In Community with the Sky and Sound

In partnership with The Seattle Art Museum, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, and yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective, Raven Juarez presents “We Are Water: In Community with the Sky and Sound”, a public art installation of flags and beadwork. Inspired by the colors and sparkle of the Puget Sound, the water that defines our beautiful landscape here on the traditional lands of the Suquamish and Duwamish, Raven facilitated two separate community events for children, elders, and all ages in between to express their connection to the land and waters that surround us. The first was an invitation to make the flags, where participants were invited to collaborate with the artist to assemble a collage of colored tissue paper, and the option to finish the composition with an offering of a raven stamp, hand carved and printed by Raven Juarez at the event. The second invitation was to create beaded strands, using a carefully curated selection of beads selected to highlight and compliment the colors of the landscape and catch and reflect the light to recreate the sparkle of sunlight rippling over deep blue waters. This is truly a collaborative work of art, not only in the community with the ones whose hands assembled the flags themselves, but also with the sky, sun, water, and wind, as the flags are displayed in harmony with the elements.

This art installation can be found at Pier 62 from October 12-27, 2023!

About the Artist

Born and based in Seattle, Raven Juarez is a contemporary native artist, teacher, and presenter. Juarez attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and spent a year abroad in Florence, Italy, to study painting, drawing, and print-making as well as Italian art and film history. She graduated in 2013 with a BA in the liberal arts, with concentrations in Child Psychology/Development and Visual Arts. Raven shares her passion for art in her work as an early childhood educator and especially enjoys facilitating creative invitations for all ages in the greater Seattle area.

We Are Water: Salish Sea Banners

Come admire and reflect upon banners designed by Taylor Krise (Squaxin Island) and Joe Seymour (Squaxin Island/Pueblo of Acoma), themed around the Salish Sea and the ways in which it connects people, communities, and ecosystems.

These incredible 8’x4′ banners can be found at Pier 62 from October 16-27, 2023!

About the Designers

Head designer of Salish Works.  Pacific Northwest Native artist.  A renowned artist, carver, and family-oriented man.  He is the creator of the clothing store and the beginning of the Salish Works Story.

oe (wahalatsu?) Seymour, Jr. is the son of Joe Sr. and Faye Seymour.  Joe was born in Albuquerque, NM.  He was formally trained as a commercial diver at the Diver’s Institute of Technology in Seattle, WA in 2002.

Joe’s ancestral name, wahalatsu?, was given to him by his family in 2003.  wahalatsu? was the name of his great grandfather William Bagley.

Joe started his artistic career by carving his first paddle for the 2003 Tribal Journey to Tulalip. Also in 2003, he carved his first bentwood box. After the Tulalip journey, he then learned how to stretch and make drums.

Joe participated in the international gathering of Indigenous Artists, PIKO 2007, in Hawai’i.  He also participated in the Te Tihi, 4th Gathering of Indigenous Visual Artists, in Rotorua, New Zealand, in 2010.

“In my career, I’ve worked with glass, photography, Salish wool weaving, prints, wood, and rawhide drums.  I’ve been very fortunate to have a community of artists that I’m able to work with and who are very supportive of my career.  If it were not for their caring and sharing of ideas, I would not be the artist that I am today.

“I hope that as I continue in my artistic career, I can pass on the teachings and nurturing spirit that have been shown to me.”

10/21 We Are Water: Weaving Workshop

Come celebrate Indigenous weaving practices and learn about the MTK Matriarchs artwork planned for Overlook Walk at the future Waterfront Park

Workshop description: This weaving workshop will be open to members of the Indigenous community. Lead by two of the artists from the Salish Steps art piece, Kimberly Deriana (Mandan/Hidatsa) and Tamela LaClair (Skokomish) this workshop will teach people how to weave medallions using cattail and raffia.

The general public is encouraged to visit and admire the new art installation available and learn about the future art installation honoring Indigenous weaving to be installed on the Salish Steps, a portion of Waterfront Park that connects the lower portion of Overlook Walk to the promenade.

About the Facilitators

Tamela LaClair is an enrolled member of the Skokomish Indian Tribe. We are “the people of the river” We have a strong connection to the water. Rivers, streams, canals were all ways of travel keeping all of us connected the lifelinein our culture and families. The water is the seeds of our ancestors. Tamela’s parents are Mark and Darlyn Wilbur Warren. Her mother taught her how to be self-reliant by living off the land. Tamela’s grandpa Bert Wilbur, a hunter, fisherman and carver also inspired her creative artistry. Immersed in art from a very young age, Tamela’s husband Dale RedHawk LaClair and his parents Patrick and Lametta LaClair recognized her talents and encouraged her to pursue her passion for Salish artwork.

Through Lametta’s teachings, Tamela learned how to weave on a loom twilling and twining, weave cedar baskets and gather. She carries those traditions that have been passed onto her. As a family, they gather and harvest. It is essential in the Twana way of life to harvest, preserve and give thanks for the sacrifice that the animals or elements have given us in this great circle of life. We lift our hands up to give thanks to the creator for giving us these wonderful bounties in life. Artwork is a form of expression, handed down from the creator. We need to teach it to the next generation so it’s not forgotten nor lost in transition. Tamela is passing the teachings onto her son.

In addition to her traditional cultural practices, Tamela works in mediums including acrylic, color pencils, traditional drums, and heat press designs and weaving; including cedar and wool. She sells custom apparel including hoodies and T-shirts, with all hand drawn Coastal Salish designs. Tamela’s artwork has been shown in the Washington History Museum and Evergreen State College. She has illustrated a native children’s book for Evergreen State College and created graphic art for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. She designed the gym floor logo art in the Skokomish Community Center and a large scale triptych painting in the gathering hall of the building which honors her mother’s legacy.

Tamela would like to give a special thanks to: my mom and dad, my mother and father in law, my gram and gramp, my son; my husband for believing in me in my journey and the great creator for being with me every step of the way.

Kimberly Corinne Deriana is a Mandan and Hidatsa architectural designer and artist who specializes in sustainable, environmental, Indigenous sculpture, architecture, housing, and planning. Her design methodologies focus on incorporating Indigenous lifestyle practices in relationship to designing for seven generations. Deriana strives to achieve exceptional design by weaving together respect for interconnections, honor for cultural identity, and appreciation for contemporary quality, manifested in earth-rooted forms, buildings and communities.

She is currently an independent consultant and design lead on several projects across Seattle with partners like Chief Seattle Club, yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives, Na’ah Illahee Fund, among others. Deriana has worked with Indigenous-owned firms, 7 Directions Architects, as well as Jones and Jones Architects. Her art commissions include forthcoming public pieces at the Washington State Convention Center in addition to the Seattle Waterfront, and past large temporary projects at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, and the City of Seattle’s Arts at King Street Station.

Her work centers Indigenous based knowledge practices. Co-creating and colearning are key components to this practice. Respect for the land, functionality, craft and beauty are fundamental values that our ancestors taught us to uphold in the creation process. Her grandmother, Corinne Chase Deriana, “Brings the Medicine” and father Dr. Ronald G. Deriana instilled their traditional family values of healing and medicine work. Kimberly interprets these traditions into built environments by creating spaces and places that bring good medicine, and recognize the innovative, holistic ways Indigenous people have cared for the land and community since time immemorial.

Created in Partnership with

yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is an Indigenous-led nonprofit combining radical arts equity, ecological justice, health and wellness, and holistic community building opportunities to transform the way Indigenous people connect with themselves, the land, and each other. Since their founding in 2017, the collective has organized countless programs that uplifted over 400 Indigenous creatives with partners across the Salish Sea. They are now rematriating 1.5 acres of land in South Seattle, on Coast Salish territories.

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