KINGSTON — Tsimshian artist David Boxley of Kingston and Metlakatla is one of six Native artists recognized by First Peoples Fund with the 2012 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award. First Peoples Fund’s President Lori Pourier (Oglala Lakota) said honorees are chosen not only for artistic excellence but for exemplifying indigenous values of fortitude, generosity, humility, integrity, respect, strength and wisdom.
Each honoree receives a $5,000 no-strings-attached fellowship.
Boxley (www.davidboxley.com) has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to the rebirth and revitalization of Tsimshian arts and culture. He is a master artist who focuses primarily on traditional design and carving of totem poles, bentwood boxes, performance masks, rattles and other items of his ancestors.
He also helped form four dance groups in Seattle and Metlakatla, showcasing the traditions of storytelling with song and dance, featuring elaborately carved masks, rattles, box drums and other items.
Boxley’s latest public art: a totem pole installed Jan. 14 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The pole is 22 feet long and carved from a red cedar log weighing 3,000 pounds.