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Totem Pole by James Bender at Pike Place Market (#72: 15046 bytes)

Artworks by Robert Hewson

In his carving, Robert uses traditional woods: cedar, alder, and yew—and traditional tools: elbow adze and crooked knives. In his designs, Robert uses traditional elements of the Northwest style, but within a conceptual framework created by his unique experience. “I do not consider myself a traditional artist. My art is Tsimsian because I am Tsimsian.”

Two Cultures Meet

In February 1994, Robert began work on a series of drawings and painting that culminated a year later in Two Cultures Meet, a painting reproduced as a serigraph edition—Robert’s tribute to his time spent with the Plains people in South Dakota. In the design, a Buffalo dancer, as symbol of the Plains traditions, and a Raven dancer, as symbol of the Northwest traditions, join hands to create a star which fills the whole sky. Other designs from that original series of paintings have been reproduced on cards and in sandblasted glass.
His 1996 painting Honoring the Salmon People was reproduced in a serigraph edition and in 1997, a similar salmon design, Going Home, was chosen as the theme design for the 1997 Salmon Homecoming Celebration on the Seattle waterfront. That work led to a commission from the U.S. Synchronized Swim Team for a theme design for their 1998 National Championships, held in the Northwest.

Honoring the Salmon People

Raven Spirit

1998 also saw the publication of Raven Spirit, another serigraph edition based on a painted drum design.
Robert also creates prints of traditional Tsimsian iconic animals such as Eagle.


Hewson Mask #406Portrait mask

In May 1995 Robert carved his first mask, a miniature buffalo mask. Since then he has created a steady stream of carvings: panels, frontlets, poles, and masks such as this portrait mask.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and text are:
2009 Chief Seattle Arts
Last modified: November 09, 2014