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Artwork copyright Dan Friday. Photo courtesy of the artist, 2023.

Ferndale High School Curated Collection in Whatcom County, curated by Tami Landis, 2023

"Curated in collaboration with the local Ferndale High School community, this collection is rooted in a collective creative spirit of admiring and honoring our connection to the vast lands and sea of this region and their distinct presence in our past, present, and future.

Lummi glass sculptor and educator, Dan Friday, and Bow-based sculptor, Aaron Loveitt, have both represented Mount Baker in the North Cascades mountains to speak to our local connection to its changing landscape. Friday’s Kulshan Bear is based on his familial connection to the land and the Lummi narrative of Chief Cuomo Kulshan and his two daughters (Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters), as was told to Friday by his Great Aunt. The bear is also a common motif in Friday’s work as a descendent of Frank Hilliare (Xa-Tel-Ek). Loveitt’s sculpted, metal relief, Recede, depicts the headwaters of the Nooksack River at the summit of Mount Baker, a view of the southwest face of the Deming Glacier. The artwork title “Recede” alludes to the dramatic recession of the glacier, that is undergoing rapid change. Both artworks, which are on view in the Ferndale High School Learning Commons, offer continued conversations on the everchanging mountain-scapes in Northwestern Washington.

There is also a strong throughline of cultural diversity and inclusivity in this collection. For instance, the selected works of Moses Sun or Nikita Ares are composed of colorful and vibrant layers of abstract imagery that welcome a sense of belonging to any that approach them. In one essence the work can feel personal and poetic to a specific emotion, yet they can also offer moments of collective connection when sharing cultural meaning and value to the spectrum of colors that are so thoughtfully composed. My hope is that these artworks will speak to the Ferndale High School community at all walks of life, in all seasons, and act as a symbol of welcoming to all in the school for years to come.

The local Art Selection Committee for Ferndale Highschool wanted a collection of art that reflected cultural diversity, highlighted indigenous makers, and engaged with natural imagery while being sourced from local/regional artists."

–Tami Landis, curator for Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Ferndale School District, in Whatcom County, Northwestern Washington (September 2023).

The local Art Selection Committee for Ferndale High School wanted a collection of art that reflects cultural diversity, highlights indigenous makers, and engages with natural imagery while being sourced from local and regional artists.