Hummingbird Mask, by Skeena Reece in collaboration with Simon Reece
Smash Mode, Dean Hunt
Favorites is an ongoing series of group exhibitions produced by Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery. These exhibitions aim to support conversation, creative experimentation, and community-building between artists.
Favorites exhibitions hold space for artists to have meaningful conversations with other artists. The only constraint placed on this exhibition format is that none of the exhibiting artists can have pre-existing personal or professional connections to each other. This means that extending an invitation to a "favorite" artist is an expression of admiration for the invited artist’s work, and it is also the first introduction.
In Fall 2020, RYAN! Feddersen started the invitation process for the 2021 exhibition by inviting artist Skeena Reece to participate...
Skeena Reece accepted RYAN!'s invitation and invited Dean Hunt. Skeena and Dean chose to hold their final invitation as a space to honor and acknowledge the work of Northwest Coast carvers.
The artists recorded a conversation through Zoom on December 17, 2020. In this conversation Reece and Hunt share images and documentation of past works, current work, and work in progress as they discuss their powerful, intergenerational art practices driven by commitments to care, collaboration, humor, experimentation, and community.
The video episodes in this exhibition can be viewed all at once or in multiple visits over time. Each episode contains images or media embedded in the Seattle University website, as well as streaming video content hosted on Vimeo and embedded on this website. For the best viewing experience, please expand each video in the web viewer. Videos are captioned, and this captioned content can be accessed through the CC button in the lower right-hand corner of the video interface.
- Hedreen Gallery Web Team
Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree/Métis artist based on the west coast of British Columbia. She has garnered national and international attention most notably for Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (2010) her bold installation and performance work presented at the 2010 Sydney Biennale and as a part of the celebrated and widely toured group exhibition Beat Nation. Her multidisciplinary practice includes performance art, “sacred clowning”, writing, music, video and visual art. She studied media arts at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and was the recipient of the British Columbia Award for Excellence in the Arts (2012), The Viva Award (2014) and the Hnyatshyn Award (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include: Moss at the Oboro Gallery, Montreal (2017) and Sweetgrass and Honey at Plug In ICA (2018), Touch Me at the Comox Valley Art Gallery (2018) and Surrounded at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery (2019) and Honey and Sweetgrass at the Duke Hall Gallery at the James Madison University, Virginia (2021).
Dean Hunt is a visual artist, traditional tattoo practitioner & music producer from the Eagle Clan of the Heiltsuk Nation, Waglisla (Bella Bella). Dean underwent a formal 5-year apprenticeship with his father Bradley Hunt and Older brother Shawn Hunt, where he learned the skills of Heiltsuk carving and design. He uses the tools his ancestors fought to hold onto through times of hardship and oppression, not only in his more traditional art practices, but also in his contemporary use of sound. Dean studied Studio Engineering and Music Production at Columbia Academy in Vancouver and has applied his skills as a music producer and DJ with the audio-visual collectives Skookum Sound System & See Monsters. Dean also completed a four week artist intensive at Earthline Tattoo Residency in Kelowna with teacher Dion Kazsas (Nlaka'pamux Nation), where he learned traditional hand poke and skin stitch tattoo techniques.
RYAN! Elizabeth Feddersen specializes in creating interactive murals, site-specific installations, and immersive public artworks that invite audience engagement. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in 2009, then remained in Seattle, working as an artist, curator, studio assistant, and arts administrator, until recently relocating to Tacoma, Washington. Feddersen grew up in Wenatchee, Washington and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, from the Okanogan and Arrow Lakes bands, and of mixed European descent. Utilizing traditional Plateau storytelling applied to contemporary issues, historical research, and digital tools, Feddersen creates material applications that interrogate official histories, examining how what we think has been formed by the information we have been taught. Feddersen recently received a National Fellowship in Visual Art from the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation and a Visual Artist Fellowship from Artist Trust. She has created large-scale interactive installations and site-specific pieces throughout North America and has recently completed permanent public artworks with the Burke Museum, City of Tacoma, and the Washington State Arts Commission for the University of Washington.
The first time I heard about you… I think you were making music with Bracken, and performing live, and I was like, ‘that’s cool’, because so many people were making music in Vancouver. There was a huge scene of hip hop and live performance stuff happening all over the city. And I sing, and I was hoping we could share some of our musical talents from the distant past…-Skeena Reece (speaking to Dean Hunt)
The crossover of ‘contemporary art’ and ‘traditional’ art is not even true. I think a lot of people think, ‘oh, that’s Northwest Coast art’, or ‘that’s contemporary art’, but they’re totally the same. You just don’t see that these [Northwest Coast artworks] were living pieces. These pieces were used in Potlach, in ceremony, and they had lives...Skeena Reece
How much would you say politics or social issues affect your art? -Skeena Reece
Skeena Reece, 2017
fabric, cedar, moss, beads
photo credit: Karen Asher
Image courtesy of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist
Skeena Reece, 2017
4 prints, cradleboard
photo credit: Roman Guilbault
I came up with a mask called M’nukv mask, M’nukv means “one” in our language, and it was the transition mask between the Pk’vs mask, that I felt I had become. I basically wanted a way out of that [Pk’vs] mask, and so I carved M’nukv (…) There’s the idea of this Pk’vs creature kind of evolving or transforming. For me personally, it just gave me an escape out of that character and into something different.-Dean Hunt
Skeena: "We should make a video where we use one of the photos of your art, and my kids, just kind of like, record their playing and hanging out in the living room, and kind of put that together. Because it feels different than being on those cold walls, or office buildings, or, you know, some fancy person’s cabin."
Dean: "Yeah, I wonder if it would be a good idea to use the M’nukv mask, the one I was talking about (…) because it’s got that hope behind it, it's kind of that light at the end of the tunnel kind of thing, it might be a good one to have the kids laughing on?"
"A lot of times in work I’ll set out to do something and then things change. A lot of times the piece guides me where it wants to go in a way. I try and stay open, and what I set out to do it doesn’t always end up that way (...) The idea, or the actual meaning, comes later, a lot of times, for me."- Dean Hunt
Work in progress, Dean Hunt's studio
Skeena: "I think I’ve got a challenge for you, and I’ll take it on as well. Let’s do an ode to Ron Telek. I would love to make a new piece that’s like, no boundaries, just full-on spirit imagination."
Dean: "I accept that challenge, for sure. That sounds fun."