IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts is an annual juried exhibition held at the Washington State History Museum each summer. Artist Awards, Purchase Prize awards, and People’s Choices awards are selected annually as well. Awards are selected by members of the advisory committee, the jury, and collections professionals at the Washington State Historical Society.

The 2020 IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition was shared virtually as an online exhibition with free access, because the museum was closed due to the historic COVID-19 pandemic. The awards for 2020 were also announced virtually.

Please join us in celebrating the talented Native artists whose works were selected for the 2020 exhibition, and congratulating the award recipients.

2020 IN THE SPIRIT Awards Video
2020 In the Spirit Contemporary Native Arts Virtual Exhibition 10
Best in Show

Chilkat Protector by Lily Hope (Tlingit)

Chilkat Protector, 2020, Chilkat weaving on thigh-spun merino and cedar bark warp, merino weft yarns, tin cones, and ermine tails, 7×7.5×.25 inches

2020 In the Spirit Contemporary Native Arts Virtual Exhibition 15
Spirit of the Northwest

Prayer Rattles (female, male) by Peter Boome (Upper Skagit)

Prayer Rattles (female, male), 2019, hand carved from reclaimed yellow cedar, with glass inlay, horsehair, deer hooves, sea shells, sitting in hand carved basket stands from yellow cedar and cottonwood root, with acrylic paint, 15×4×5 inches

2020 In the Spirit Contemporary Native Arts Virtual Exhibition 22
Honoring the Ancestors

Twenty-Nine by Carol Emarthle Douglas (Northern Arapaho)

Twenty-Nine, 2019, traditional coiled basket/single hemp cord foundation, 4-ply waxed linen threads, 6×11×11 inches

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Honoring Innovation

Forager Totem by Dan Friday (Lummi)

Forager Totem, 2020, hand-sculpted hot glass, 27×7×7 inches

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Purchase Prize #1

Spirit Quest by George Zantua (Tlingit and Haida)

Spirit Quest, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 18.5×14.5 inches

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Purchase Prize #2

Ancestors by Denise Emerson

Ancestors, 2020, plexiglass, 17×18 inches

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People's Choice #1

Salishan Sturgeon Nose Canoe Column by Shawn Brigman (Spokane Tribe of Indians)

Salishan Sturgeon Nose Canoe Column, 2019, blown and hot-sculpted colored glass, 26×5×5 inches

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People's Choice #2

Twenty-Nine by Carol Emarthle Douglas (Northern Arapaho)

Twenty-Nine, 2019, traditional coiled basket/single hemp cord foundation, 4-ply waxed linen threads, 6×11×11 inches