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Tlingit Tribe art with a humorous twist

Artist Alison Bremner says her art is "inspired by ancient traditions and modern coffee." #k5evening

SEATTLE — Alison O. Bremner is a Tlingit artist born and raised in Southeast Alaska. Painting, woodcarving, regalia and digital collage are a few of the mediums the artist employs. In addition to her contemporary art practice, Bremner is committed to the revitalization of the Tlingit language and creating works for traditional and ceremonial use.

“For me, seeing the culture and the art together, and realizing that the culture does not exist without the art, I wanted to be part of caring my culture through my art,” said Alison.

Her work is included in the permanent collections at Seattle's Burke Museum and  Frye Art Museum, Portland Art Museum, British Museum in London and more. In Oct. 2019, she became the first Tlingit woman to carve and raise a totem pole.

One of her most-talked-about art pieces is “The Troll II” mural inside the Burke Museum's NW Native Art Gallery exhibit, where Alison mixes the ancient traditions with contemporary art.

Credit: Jose Cedeno

She also isn't afraid to go outside of the box with her art. She has painted Jeff Goldblum on a paddle and put Burt Reynolds on a hoodie. Her newest piece depicts Pete Carroll trying to wear a mask. 

"Northwest coast indigenous cultures are a lot funnier than you would imagine at first glance."

Tlingit Tribe culture is constantly adapting, observing, and searching for its place in the world. She hopes indigenous art as a whole becomes more accessible.

“I think having the balance of staying deeply rooted in the culture with my art, also makes me get away with things, she explained. "I use the ancient system of the designs and stick to the rules, but I add my own touch to it."

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