Between 1968 and 1985, hundreds of University of Washington students took classes about Northwest Coast Native art from Bill Holm, who held a position split between teaching art history in the School of Art and curatorial work at the Burke Museum. He was hired by the university after publishing the seminal work, Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form, which he wrote while he was a high school art teacher. That book has been continuously in print since it first came out, and a 50th anniversary edition was recently published by UW Press.
The Bill Holm Center (BHC) was founded at the Burke Museum in 2003 with Art History Professor Robin Wright as director. Like Holm, she holds a position split between the School and the museum. To celebrate a decade of grant making to Native artists, the BHC and the museum are showing Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired through July 27, 2015. Thirty new works are paired with pieces from the Burke’s collection that the artists identified as being influential. The center’s associate director, and a winter quarter 2015 lecturer in the School, Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse (PhD 2007), curated the exhibition with assistance from Bridget Johnson (MA 2014).
Bunn-Marcuse and Johnson have organized an ArtTalk Symposium for the end of March with support from a UW Simpson Center for the Humanities grant. In the evening on Friday, March 27, there will be a keynote program with Wright and Native artists Shaun Peterson and David R. Boxley. There will be a series of speakers during the following day. Both events are free, but registration is recommended. Those who attend the ArtTalk events may see Holm in the crowd; he is celebrating his 90th birthday this spring.
Bill and Marty Holm; photo by Jack Storms, courtesy of the Bill Holm Center.