Yexwela (Eagle) by Shaun Peterson, Puyallup Nation
Yexwela (Eagle), Shaun Peterson, Puyallup Nation, giclée print, edition of 40, 22" high x 17" wide
Shaun Peterson was born in Puyallup, Washington in 1975 and is a member of the Puyallup Tribe of the Salish peoples. Shaun's work is culturally based in the ancient tradition of the Salish speaking tribal groups that cover a majority of western Washington and parts of Southern British Columbia.
In Shaun's introduction to the Northwest Coast Native art discipline he worked with a select group of artists skilled in their field of expertise including Haida artist Bruce Cook III, Steve Brown, Makah artist Greg Colfax and Loren White. Working with these individuals, Shaun was able to learn a great deal about the variety of styles that define the different cultural groups through the art itself. In his quest to understand the defining artistic features of his own cultural group, he found there was minimal documentation readily available on Salish art. This inspired Shaun to began rigorously studying museum collections to learn about the art that was in many ways forgotten among his own people.
At first drawing from historic pieces for inspiration, Shaun eventually learned to utilize the properties that defined the Salish style and generated new creations based upon that collection of experience and exploration. His early work was primarily functional and related directly to ceremony in the form of painted drums, rattles, and masks.
Shaun has begun to integrate more non-traditional media into his art such as glass and metal while maintaining the defining features that make the art culturally identifiable. Shaun has done public works for the cities of Tacoma and Seattle as well as site specific work for tribal buildings in his community. Shaun's work is both traditional and contemporary, drawing on the artistic discipline of the past and utilizing modern materials from the world today