“Raven and the Box of Daylight” is the Tlingit story of Raven and his transformation of the world — bringing light to people via the stars, moon and sun. This story holds great significance for the Tlingit people. The exhibition at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass, which runs until Sept. 2, features a combination of artwork, storytelling and encounters.
The glass art of Preston Singletary, who grew up in Seattle listening to stories told by his Tlingit ancestors, is rooted in the narrative of “Raven and the Box of Daylight.” Singletary, primarily known for his celebration of Tlingit art and design, explores new ways of working with glass inspired by Tlingit design principles. Tlingit objects were traditionally used to show wealth and tell stories by representing elements of the natural world, as well as the histories of individual families. By drawing upon this tradition, Singletary’s art creates a theatrical atmosphere in which the pieces follow the exhibition narrative.
Artwork is supported by the research of Walter Porter, a Tlingit mythologist and historian, in the exhibition organized by Singletary and the Museum of Glass and curated by Miranda Belarde-Lewis. Porter’s research provides a unique perspective about Tlingit cultural stories. Porter was well-known for his comparative work regarding other cultures’ mythologies to the Raven story, and his research is used to draw connections to universal themes and perspectives.
The exhibit immerses visitors in the Tlingit culture through a multisensory environment. Art and text are supported by audio and video, including recordings by storytellers, music, recordings of Pacific Northwest coastal sounds and a backdrop of shadows and projected images.
Oral histories and narratives are an essential part of the survival of Tlingit culture. Recordings of Tlingit storytellers will introduce visitors to the art form of Tlingit oral tradition. These oral performances tell the story of Raven and the light.
Museum of Glass
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (open late the third Thursday of each month, with free admission on those nights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Admission: Adults, $17; Seniors (62+) and students/military (with ID), $14; children (6-12), $5; museum members/children (under 6), free; AAA members, $15. Check the website for reduced admission programs.
Address: 1801 Dock St., Tacoma, WA 98402.
Parking: Underground parking is available on-site. Enter on Dock Street, at the Northwest corner, next to the loading dock. Parking rates are $5 up to three hours and $10 for more than three hours. Paid, on-street parking is available but limited. Bus parking is available on Dock Street only.