What: You won’t want to miss this Native Artist Series event! For Vancouver’s First Friday our featured guest is visual artist Roben White (Cheyenne/Lakota, enrolled Oglala, Pine Ridge).
When: Friday, August 3, 2018 from 5:00-8:00pm
Who: Artist and local activist Roben White works with a variety of mediums including oils, acrylics and chalk pastels. He practiced art briefly in his youth, but adventure’s allure became too strong. It would be many years before he blended his life passions and added artist back to his resume. Admired for his curiosity and bright intellect, as well as valuable historical and cultural knowledge, he is a tireless participant on volunteer boards and advisory councils including NAYA, the Portland Youth and Elders Council and Washington State University Vancouver.
As he recounts an experience that re-inspired his art practice several years ago, we see evidence of the hand of destiny. It was a time when the weight of life’s burdens, his own and others, was squarely on his shoulders. Exhausted and desperately in need of replenishment, a large piece of construction paper lay within reach. White is unsure why he saw such perfection in this particular canvas, but using a box of lecturer’s chalk, began to draw. He posted a photo of his drawing on Facebook for fun. An old friend, an arts supply wholesaler by trade, saw it. She made it her quest to ensure White continued to express his gift. “The next time I saw her, she opened her trunk and it was filled with art supplies,” he says.
White has too large a life to fit neatly into any box. This is evidenced by the charming pastel portrait of his niece titled, Kiss a Fish, and the bonding evident in the portrait, Exchanging Breath, featuring a boy with a stabled horse. Refreshingly passionate, White is a storyteller who will engage you with his words and captivate you with his art. Inspired by his activism in environmental, Native, human rights and labor issues, his art moves us.
Where: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, National Headquarters, The Academy, 400 E. Evergreen Blvd. #101B, Vancouver, WA
Parking & Access: Park anywhere around the building but for ACCESS walk south to the MAIN ENTRANCE front doors facing Evergreen Boulevard. We’ll be manning the doors. Lost? Call 360-281-1615.