Featured image: Marika Echachis Swan, Your Power is Yours, 2019.
Tsēmā Igharas isn’t quick to define Northwest Coast art because she’d rather let Northwest Coast art and artists speak for themselves. The belief that art can speak would likely sound romantic to non-Indigenous audiences. But Igharas—who comes from a background in Indigenous community arts and learned carving before attending art school—knows that art is a relation that Indigenous peoples visit with, not a sterile object decaying in a house of horrors such as a museum of the dead. Northwest Coast art is meant to be used and experienced; it should live and, yes, die.