Northwest Native Designs

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Brian Huntoon

Item ID: 9242

Tribal Affiliation: Abenaki
Primary Media: Photographs

"In my fine art photography, I am trying to convey a feeling of reverence for the Earth: The Earth is sacred. The People and other living things are all part of the natural world. We are all one. Wheat we do to Mother Earth and Father Sky, we do to ourselves. We need to take care of our homeplace. We need to take care of our Mother Earth.

For me, photography is the capturing of images, many of which I have “previsualized”. Hunting for these images-the classic view of the American landscape, the study of wildlife revealing its unique characteristics, the beauty and integrity of Native American art and culture-this is what photography is all about for me.

It is the feelings, the emotions that are inspired in me, that I am trying to share when I make a photograph, whether it is the peace and cool of the north woods, the exhilarating power of the ocean surf pounding in, or the intense spirituality of Native American dance performance. I hope my images stir in you the kinds of emotions I felt when I originally took the photograph."

Brian Huntoon is of British, French and Abenaki Indian descent. The Abenaki inhabited what is northern New England and southern Quebec before the arrival of European settlers.

Brian earned his Master’s degree in Environmental Interpretation from Texas A&M University after receiving a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, New York.

A former National Park Service ranger, Brian conducted living history programs depicting the life on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. His presentations were so realistic he once caught his mustache on fire starting a blaze with flint and steel.

When possible, Brian works with an old style mahogany and brass 4x5 view camera, exposing individual sheets of large format film, rather than using roll film. He likes the slow pace associated with using the view camera, staying in one place for a long time, and really getting a sense of the place before making any exposures. Brian feels being in tune with a place leads to more meaningful and expressive photographs.

Abenaki: Dawn lands People

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