The Art of Founders Hall – Native art in Foster’s newest building

Read the full article by Ed Kromer on the UW Foster magazine website. Start reading below…

Native art installations and historic sculpture enhance the PNW aesthetic of Foster’s newest building

“There is an abundance of artistry in the design of Founders Hall at the UW Foster School of Business, where structural wood and soaring glass connect built and natural environments in unexpected and eye-catching ways—bringing the outside in and the inside out.

But there is plenty of art, too. The newest building on the UW campus also functions as a de facto gallery, exhibiting several stirring works by Northwest masters.

Commissioned installations by prominent local Native artists—“Salish Journey Through Water” by Shaun Peterson (also known as Qwalsius) of the Puyallup Nation and “Life of the Salmon” by Tulalip-Tlingit artist James Madison—tell vital visual stories and honor the heritage of the land on which Founders Hall stands.

The “Fountain of Reflection,” rescued and lovingly restored, is a classic of George Tsutakawa, the iconic Seattle-based Japanese American sculptor—and Husky—renowned for his exquisite expressions of flowing forms and cultural intersections.

In wholly different styles, these artistic installations evoke the odyssey of life and invite contemplation. Dean Frank Hodge often describes them as “striking metaphors for the profound transformation that occurs on a student’s educational journey within the walls of Founders Hall and throughout the Foster School.”

Madison, a member of the Tulalip Tribes, was raised in a family steeped in traditional Salish and Tlingit Northwest-Coast Native art. He began carving when he was eight years old, under the tutelage of his grandfather, Frank Madison, and father, Richard Madison. Richard also taught his son sculpture and abstract painting, and introduced him to the European masters and their innovative styles.

James Madison earned his BA in fine arts from the UW in 2000, and another from the Pratt School of Fine Arts in 2004, where he studied the art history of the Native American Northwest Coast, two-dimensional design and carving, metal sculpture and glass blowing, fusing and casting.

Continue reading and view photos of the art pieces…

By Meaghan Wood (She/Her)
Meaghan Wood (She/Her) Career Coach