Killer Whale, 1979

Marvin Oliver
(American | Quinault | Isleta-Pueblo, born 1946, died 2019)

Location: Sarah J. Anderson Elementary, Vancouver


Late Native American artist Marvin Oliver (Quinault/Isleta) describes his works as "formulated by merging the spirit of past traditions with those of the create new horizons for the future." This silkscreen print, in traditional Northwest Coast styles and colors, depicts an orca. Oliver is represented in the State Art Collection by more than 20 works, ranging in scope from small works on paper to large-scale commissioned sculpture.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Vancouver School District.


Seattle-based Quinault and Isleta-Pueblo artist Marvin Oliver (1946-2019) was a master carver, sculptor, and printmaker producing works in cedar, bronze, glass, steel, and paper.

Oliver was born in Shelton on southern Puget Sound and worked within the traditions of Northwest Coast designs and themes. He was also an important influence on contemporary Native American art and artists. He described his art as "formulated by merging the spirit of past traditions with those of the present... to create new horizons for the future." Many of his artworks express his ideas and Native American stories about life, time, traditions, ancestors, the universe, and his hope for future generations.

Oliver received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in 1970 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington in 1973. He was Professor Emeritus of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington and Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, both in Seattle. In the 1970s, he began a tradition of an annual “Raven’s Feast” dinner at the University of Washington to celebrate the accomplishments of Native American and Alaska Native graduates. He also gifted one of his prints to each graduate. Raven’s Feast has grown into a cornerstone of the UW Native community.

Material CategoryWork on paper - print
MediumSilkscreen print
Dimensions24 in x 18 in
ID NumberWSAC1980.010.000
Acquisition MethodDirect purchase
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyVancouver Public Schools
Artwork LocationSarah J. Anderson Elementary
WA CountyClark
Site TypePublic School
Address2215 NE 104th ST
Vancouver, WA 98686
Geo. Coordinates45.695496, -122.648997
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