The Indigenous Arts Campus at Evergreen

 Aerial view of the IAC (L) Salmon Design (Center) by Lyonel Grant (Māori-Te Arawa) and Master Plan drawing of the IACC (R)

Reclaiming Space for Indigenous Arts

The Longhouse has built a one-of-a-kind Indigenous Arts Campus where the art-making facilities and master plan are based on Indigenous architectural design and cultural concepts. Choctaw architect Johnpaul Jones, who also designed the Longhouse, worked with Longhouse staff to develop the master plan for the Indigenous Arts Campus in 2014. Evergreen’s Board of Trustees incorporated the Indigenous Arts Campus master plan into the College’s master plan in June 2014.

 

The first building, an 800 sf Carving Studio modeled after a replica single-pitch longhouse, opened in August of 2012, with support from the Ford Foundation.

The Indigenous Arts Campus has created a series of spaces to foster vibrant, culturally-interconnected art-making for Indigenous peoples around the Pacific Rim, with particular emphasis on Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

 

The new facilities have leveraged the networks and creative potential already demonstrated by the Longhouse’s successful intergenerational programs. The Indigenous Arts Campus connects programmatically with the initiatives of surrounding tribes—many of whom have recently built new facilities such as youth centers, carving studios and cultural centers. While being mentored by master artists from around the world, artists can work in media not readily available to them at home, and participate in Indigenous cultural exchanges.

 

The Indigenous Arts Campus will have far-reaching economic and cultural impacts for artists, tribes and numerous rural communities by fostering significant professional development of emerging artists and opening new markets for their work. Artists learn and preserve important

 

 The Carving Studio, Pay3q'ali, meaning "A place to carve" in southern Salish. Photo: Evergreen Photo Services
 

We opened a new 2,000 square foot carving studio in early 2019, with support from the Margaret A Cargill Philanthropies, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, the Lucky Eagle Casino, and numerous individual donors. The new studio can accommodate both academic instruction and tribally-focused residencies. The original 800 sf carving studio has been re-purposed as the Indigenous 2-D Design Studio, where sculptors will design their projects before carving in the larger space. The area encompassing both studios is known as Pay3q’ali (A Place to Carve”), a Twana name gifted by Skokomish spiritual leader and alumnus, sm3tcoom Delbert Miller.

The Northwest Entrance of the Fiber Arts Studio. Photo: Evergreen Photo Services

Conceptually designed by lead artist Lyonel Grant (Māori: Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa), the Fiber Arts Studio pays architectural, cultural and artistic tribute to the Longhouse’s relationships with Māori artists and arts organizations in New Zealand. In 2018 the Fiber Arts Studio was named “Paimārire”, which signifies peace and serenity in Te Reo Māori (Māori language), during an international opening ceremony attended by delegates from New Zealand, Canada, and across the United States.