Location: Vashon, WA
Tribal Affiliation: Tlingit
Style: Traditional Coastal
Primary Media: Cedar, Acrylic, Drums
Odin Lonning (Tlingit name SH NOW TAAN) was born in Juneau, Alaska. He is Woosh Ke Taan (Eagle/Shark) Clan through his Tlingit mother. He is named after his Norwegian father.
At age ten. Odin saw his first traditional dance performance. This motivated him to explore Tlingit art. Local native artists such as Lincoln and Amos Wallace, Johnny Avatok, and Nathan Jackson inspired him, along with the culture centers and museums in Ketchikan Haines and Sitka. When he was twenty, the Juneau school district, Juneau Centennial Committee, Goldbelt Corporation, and Sealaska Corporation commissioned several of his pieces for permanent display.
In 1989 Odin attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While in Santa Fe he collaborated with another artist to form Wolfsong Arts. They exhibited in larger powwows, juried invitationals, and museum shows throughout the West and Midwest.
Seeking a deeper understanding of the culture essential to his artwork, Odin started dancing and learning traditional songs. He danced with the Juneau Tlingit Dancers, Seattle based Ku-Tee-Ya, and the Xudzidaa Kwaan dance group of Angoon, Alaska.
Odin now lives in Seattle where he works on private commissions and cultural presentations for schools. Museums, galleries and treatment centers. He formerly interned with Tlingit master carver Israel Shotridge to study totem pole carving.
Odin’s current work in both traditional and contemporary media include carved wooden boxes, bowls, masks, paddles and totems; painted originals, drums and ceramics; etched glass and copper; appliqué and leather dance regalia; and graphic design for jewelry, fabric and leather furniture.
Odin now lives on Vashon Island near Seattle, where he works on multiple projects and private commisions. He does cultural presentations with his fiancee for nonprofit groups, museums, schools, galleries, and treatment centers.