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Artist: Ryan Feddersen Medium: Painted metal, with elements of wood, tile, and glassCommissioned by the City of Tacoma

Rendering showing the proposed art piece, with two chairs under a large wooden frame next to a number of Native American trading and luxury goods
Nexus | Rendering of the proposed art piece, which will be installed Spring 2018

Nexus creates a space for playful learning. Presenting a series of replicas of luxury goods that were traded between the Puyallup and other Coast and Interior Salish tribes, it offers a representation of the trade networks that spanned the continent prior to European contact.

About the art+

Taking inspiration from the childhood games of “playing store,” this artwork is staged as a trading space that you can step into, making room for imaginative play while also learning about the relationships between Native American tribes.  The artwork references the exchange of goods, people, and cultural interactions along pre-colonial trade routes. The inter-tribal trade network was vast, but main lines connected the Pacific Northwest Coast most closely to the Subarctic, California, and Plateau—the region represented as a trade partner in the artwork.

The section of the Prairie Line Trail that this artwork occupies was historically known by the Puyallup Tribe as the Place of Many Fires, where locals and visitors came together and traded for luxurious goods like the ones seen here.

Nexus will be installed in Spring 2018. 

Meet the artist+

Ryan Feddersen is a mixed media installation artist. Her work is characterized by a sense of exploration and experimentation. Many of her pieces utilize tongue in cheek humor accompanied by interactivity, inviting the viewer to engage with the irrationalities and hypocrisies of contemporary American culture. Feddersen is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Okanogan / Arrow Lakes), the Interior Salish community that historically moved trade goods across the Plateau region and had especially strong relationships with the Puyallup and other Coastal Salish tribes.

Speaking about the potential of interactive art, Feddersen noted that the simple act of play can “transport you to another time, creating a connection to the deep history of a place.”

Visit Ryan Feddersen's website. 

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Got a personal connection, story, or inspirational comment you'd like to share about what you've experienced on the Prairie Line Trail? Here's your chance to make your story part of history.

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