Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration explores the flow of creativity from one culture to another
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif.—Carving totem poles out of sky-high cedar trees is a tradition for the Hunt family, members of the Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia, Canada. From one generation to the next, through a mastery of woodcarving, the family has preserved a vital component of its Native American culture.
The Raven sits atop a Hawk-Man Sun. Model totem by Henry Hunt circa 1970For Herb Alpert, the musical-industry legend, totem poles carved by the Hunts and others were a source of inspiration. As an artist who paints and sculpts, Alpert decided to “go vertical” and create tall works of his own after seeing the totem poles of Canada’s indigenous peoples in Vancouver.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens is showcasing the work of Alpert and the Hunts in its newest exhibition, Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration. The show blends pieces of art by three generations of the Hunt family—brightly-colored totem poles, ceremonial masks, and wall plaques—with Alpert’s contemporary paintings and vertical, abstract bronze sculptures.
“At the heart of this exhibition, the time-honored tradition of artistic inspiration that flows from one artist to another, from one culture to another, from one country to another, is recognized,” said Anne Rowe, Sunnylands director of collections and exhibitions. Fifty-two pieces of art are included in the show.
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