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Dr. Marvin Oliver

Professor Marvin Oliver (Quinault/Isleta Pueblo) has been teaching in American Indian Studies since 1974 and also serves as an Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Native American Art at the Burke Museum. Professor Oliver has a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a M.F.A. from the University of Washington, which he received in 1973.

Professor Oliver is one of the Northwest Coast’s foremost contemporary sculptors and printmakers with a career spanning over 40 years. His monumental sculptures in cedar, bronze and enameled steel have established Professor Oliver as an internally acclaimed contemporary sculptor and have been installed throughout Washington State and other parts of the US, as well as in Canada, Japan and Italy. Professor Oliver is the first non-Italian artist to be commissioned for a public art piece in Perugia, Italy, Seattle’s sister city.

His artwork and sculptures have won numerous awards. In 2006 his sculpture was the first glass piece to win the Best of Classification award at the Santa Fe Indian Market. In the same year his piece “Window to the Past” won the Best of Division award at the Heard Museum Fair and Market.

The latest period of Professor Oliver’s work has been characterized by mixed-media pieces such as his blown glass “Salish Basket” and “Spirit Board” series with etched photographs and bronze ravens. He is also renowned for the grand size of his sculptures such as the 26 foot long suspended steel and glass piece “Mystical Journey” at the Seattle Children’s hospital.

Professor Oliver has been teaching Northwest coast art, graphics and design at the UW since 1974. Emphasizing traditional techniques, he is the only professor in the U.S. teaching Northwest coast graphics and wood design as a technical approach in studio courses.

Professor Oliver teaches:
AIS 253 – Wood Design
AIS 350 – Two-Dimensional Art of the Northwest Coast Indians

More information regarding Professor Oliver and his work is available at