Two Views of Thanksgiving

Killer Whale (qalʼqaləx̌ič), by Shaun Peterson

For some, “Thanksgiving party” is defined as pulling on windproof layers and doing Tacoma’s 5k Turkey Trot. For others, the day’s course leads straight to a well-set table where barbarous guests ravish large poultry until the tryptophan kicks in, jettisoning them to dreamland.* Still others will be manning public kitchens for those in need of a place to spend the day.

Spaceworks Tacoma asked two local artists, Shaun Peterson and David Schimer, for their impressions of Thanksgiving. Peterson is a member of the Puyallup tribe, an accomplished sculptor who recently finished carving Tacoma’s monumental Welcome Figure, a 10-year project. The 20′, traditional cedar sculpture stands in Tollefson Square downtown, once the site of a tribal medicine house. Peterson says the above print, Killer Whale (qalʼqaləx̌ič), was inspired by childhood memories of visits to the small town of Tulalip, in Snohomish County, where his grandmother lived. “I recall the impression I had of how the killer whale image resonated with my relatives there, and in turn to me, as well,” he says. There are “characteristics that drive the connection….The bond of family and love of the water are two that come to mind.”

Intestinal Man, by David Schimer

David Schimer took a more material approach to Thanksgiving with a painting, and a poem, of sorts:

Intestinal Man
food into body and blood

living creatures
no surface view
very origins
DNA basics of life
common energy
cells, proteins, electro-chemical  process

Happy holidays!

*But, according to online sources (where everything is true and factual) a variety of meats contain equivalent amounts of the amino acid tryptophan to turkey, so it may not have been the big bird causing drowsiness all these years, but unseemly portions of alcohol and carbs. In other words, that’s not a turkey hangover you’re experiencing.

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