Dynamic multi-sensory experience tells the Tlingit origin story of Raven

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) today announced an exciting traveling exhibition opening this fall. Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight, organized by Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, and Preston Singletary, will be presented by The Chickasaw Nation and on view from Saturday, November 11, through Sunday, April 28, 2024, in the third-floor galleries of the Museum.

“We were presented with an incredible opportunity to not only bring the work of a living glass artist to Oklahoma City but that of one of OKCMOA collection icon Dale Chihuly's most important collaborators,” said CEO & President Michael Anderson, PhD. “Every aspect of this exhibition reflects our mission and purpose: To enrich lives through the visual arts, and to serve the entire Oklahoma City community.”

The multi-sensory experience combines glass, video, and audio to tell the story of Raven, a creator figure in Northwest Coast Native American culture, who was the giver of the stars, moon, and sun. Raven takes visitors on a transformative journey through darkness into light. In addition to Singletary’s striking glass pieces, the exhibition features storytelling paired with original music, coastal Pacific Northwest soundscapes, and video. 

Singletary’s work fuses time-honored glassblowing traditions with Pacific Northwest Indigenous art to honor his ancestral Tlingit heritage, a tribe in southern Alaska. Tlingit (KLING-kit) culture and oral tradition have a rich history of pairing objects with foundational stories and histories of tribal families. By drawing upon this method of visual storytelling, Singletary’s art creates a theatrical atmosphere in which each object follows and enhances the narrative. 

“What’s fascinating is Preston took those traditional Northwest Coast Native Art forms and made them contemporary by creating them in glass. Then, you add audio and video components to the experience, and the museum visitor walks away with an understanding of an ancient story through an engaging format,” said Rosie May, PhD, OKCMOA director of curatorial affairs and audience engagement. 

Raised in Seattle, Washington, Singletary began to experiment with glass making when he took a job as a night watchman at the Glass Eye, a glassblowing studio. He worked as a gaffer for Dale Chihuly, attended Pilchuck Glass School (founded by Dale Chihuly), and eventually became a teacher and, more recently, a member of Pilchuck’s Board of Trustees.

Programming, such as lectures, in-gallery conversations, and events focused on young adults and families will complement the exhibition throughout its five months at OKCMOA. The Museum will also collaborate with First Americans Museum for opening week events. Programming details will be announced at a later date.

Additionally, OKCMOA is currently seeking sponsors to underwrite the Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight exhibition costs. Sponsors receive exclusive sponsor benefits, such as an invitation to the Sustainer’s preview event and marketing recognition on the Museum’s website and printed exhibition materials, admissions tickets, and more. If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, email Kimberley Worrell, CFRM at kworrell@okcmoa.com or call 405-278-8227. 

Before Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight, OKCMOA opens its summer blockbuster, True Nature: Rodin and the Age of Impressionism on Saturday, June 17. To view the Museum’s full schedule, please visit www.okcmoa.com/current-exhibitions