David R. Boxley
LOCATION: Kingston, WA
David R. Boxley is a carver from Kingston, Washington, who belongs to the Tsimshian tribe from the Metlakatla Indian Community in Southeast Alaska. Boxley's art includes acrylic paintings and silver and gold engraved jewelry. He is a traditional songwriter and at the forefront of a movement to preserve the Tsimshian language. He is also part of a movement to rename his tribe, a process done through the traditional potlatch feasts he will hold with the grant that comes along with the honoring.
David's first drawing lessons with his father at the age of four would turn in to a lifetime of artistry and achievement. It was those early lessons that helped teach him not only the mechanics of drawing—and later carving—at the age of six, but a also a profound respect for his Native culture and traditions.
"The role of a Tsimshian artist cannot be understated in our culture. We create the symbols of ownership and pride by which our people are represented. And whether it's a piece hanging in a gallery or carved and worn on a dancers head, my work lives and breathes it's connection into my peoples past, present and future. It is a heavy responsibility and a true privilege."
"David holds his art to the standard as set by the old pieces in museums. Upholding traditional Tsimshian art in the today's fast paced and ever-changing world ensures that our art form will not slip away into darkness." - Alison Bremner, Nominator