"Explore Puyallup's Outdoor Gallery"
Native American Indian - Coast Salish/Tlingit Artist
James Madison was born in 1973 to a family of Coast Salish and Tlingit heritage. His family is Tlingit from Alaska and Snoqualmie/Snohomish.
From the age of eight Jim would carve alongside his grandfather, uncle and father at the kitchen table. They, along with the work of Haida master Bill Reid, have been his greatest artistic influences. Numerous other members of his family are also involved in art. including his mother, aunt and some cousins.
Jim studied art at the University of Washington and received his BFA in the year 2000. He focused on working with wood, paper and ink, metal and glass. He has made traditional wood carvings, prints and jewelry, but also has integrated traditional designs into a more contemporary look. An example of this is his bronze self-portrait. Although the original is carved of wood using traditional tools and techniques, the life-size mask incorporates multiple perspectives with one half of his face in a frontal view using Tlingit form-line design and the other half a profile designed with Coast Salish elements. And yet the two sides together create one unified portrait. His style is still evolving toward something uniquely his, a blending of cultures and artistic traditions.