Charging Buzzard Studio
Cultured Plateau Salish Imagery
By Diane Covington
Diane Covington, Sanpoil Band of Colville Confederated Tribes and Spokane Tribe of Indians, born near Salinas California in 1961 - is an emerging acrylic painter and mixed media artist now living near Wellpinit Washington. Diane participated in her first art show in 1983 at Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii, but didn't show her work again until 2015 in Spokane Washington.
Learning her indigenous “nselcin” language, becoming a grandmother, and participating in cultural activities such as smoking deer and salmon, digging roots and gathering medicines, and joining in ceremonial traditions are the nurturing precipitators to Diane's rediscovered artistic inspiration. She paints in memory of her paternal grandmother who was an artist, a teacher of Spokane tribal culture and language, and Diane's first and lasting influence, inspiration and mentor. Diane picked up, literally, where her grandmother left off, as a Cultural Consultant at Wellpinit School District.
In addition to teaching, she has participated in 33 group shows at locations including Spokane and Tacoma, with an upcoming indigenous women’s exhibit in downtown Seattle. Having done works ranging from room-sized murals to 2” x 2” mini paintings, she prefers working larger than life. Whether painting scenes of aunties & grandmothers tanning hides and telling stories or grandpas and grizzlies and eagles salmon-fishing, Diane paints the subjects she knows intimately with passionate obsession, care to detail, and authenticity. Her images mesh meditative traditional design and subject with contemporary colors, freshness and relevance.
I Make Art That Helps Us Remember Who We Are ~ Arsikw
Bent-feather, messy-hair, & rainbow chicken headdresses have no place in my twenty-first century indigenous art. I paint narrative scenes primarily of Plateau Salishan women in both traditional and contemporary settings to help us remember who we are.
In strong, bold colors I make strong bold grandmas, sisters and aunties that inform, empower and inspire. The women in my paintings reflect my journey, my questions, and my hopes. They go and I follow, they are seen first and then I am seen. They give my voice volume as I speak my truths through them.
Through them, I am carrying on traditions and perpetuating our specific and unique Interior Salishan culture. They carry the ancestors spirits to us, Through us. they proclaim, “We are still here.”
Contact Diane Covington
PO Box 545 Wellpinit WA 99040