Artist Trust Salon: Transforming Tradition

Posted on June 27, 2014, 5:15 pm
4 mins


On June 6th, Artist Trust’s Sarah Traver and Len Lewicki hosted its quarterly salon featuring internationally renowned glass sculptor and Artist Trust Grant Recipient, Preston Singletary. Preston and his team kindly opened his spacious glassblowing studio for the occasion. Guests enjoyed drinks on the terrace and complimentary Mexican fare from El Camion Taco Truck while they toured the studio. On view were completed pieces and works in progress, offering an intimate glimpse into the artist’s creative process.

Preston Singletary’s work fuses European glassblowing traditions and Northwest Native Art. As a member of the Tlingit tribe, he has influenced contemporary indigenous art through his adoption of glass as his primary medium. Artist Trust titled the salon “Transforming Tradition,” celebrating Preston’s success in bringing new purpose and direction to indigenous art, all while respecting his cultural heritage.

Len Lewicki (l) addresses the crowd at the Artist Trust Salon

Len Lewicki (l) addresses the crowd at the Artist Trust Salon. Photo by Christopher Reicks.

After guests mingled and filled up their plates, Artist Trust board member Len Lewicki kicked off the party with opening remarks about Artist Trust, including the thrilling news that they had nearly reached their salon goal of raising $3,000 to fund two GAPs (Grants for Artist Projects). As June 6 also happens to be the anniversary of D-Day, Mr. Lewicki reminisced upon Winston Churchill’s famous retort to the British finance minister’s request to cut art funding in order to better support the war effort: “Then what are we fighting for?”

Detail of finished glass baskets in artist Preston Singeltary's studio

Detail of finished glass baskets in artist Preston Singeltary’s studio. Photo by Christopher Reicks.

Churchill’s response nearly seventy years ago resonated that evening with a room of people of all ages and backgrounds banding together to support the arts at its source: the creative individual. Following Mr. Lewicki, Sarah Traver, Director of Traver Gallery and incoming Vice President of Artist Trust, introduced the evening’s host, Preston Singletary.

The attendees made an interesting crowd, as one might expect at any Artist Trust salon. Off in the corner, Preston’s wife and Nordstrom Creative Director, Åsa Sandlund, a Stockholm native, huddled with close friend Lisa Liedgren. She wore a stunning jade green pendant her husband gifted to her from the Maori tribe in New Zealand, symbolizing protection. Nearby, incoming Artist Trust President Stephanie Ellis-Smith was all smiles as she posed with Director of Development Marsha Wolf and Nena Howell, a member of the Tlingit tribe as well. Other notable attendees included Muthoni Wambu Kraal and JP Kraal who recently moved from Washington D.C. Muthoni serves as the Political Opportunity Director for EMILY’s list, and formerly the deputy political director for then-US.. senator Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Vanguard Seattle is thrilled to pursue its partnership with Artist Trust and honored to be associated with an organization that likewise strives to support local artists of all creative disciplines from the ground up. As Artist Trust transitions into new leadership, we cannot wait to see the new ideas and actions that follow.

Juliana Pera is a fashion and society writer for Vanguard Seattle. Her weekly column “On The Town” highlights stylish individuals and trends seen at Seattle art, culture, and fashion events. Juliana grew up just outside of San Francisco and moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington in 2010 to study Political Science. She is interested in pursuing a career where she can combine her love for fashion with business, and is excited to join the Seattle arts community.