Tradition and Innovation: Northwest Coast Indigenous Digital Design and Printmaking

Spring 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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This is a foundational program that emphasizes digital design, printmaking, art histories, visual literacy, and artistic research.  The thematic thread will address a range of visual languages, design strategies, and traditions employed by various communities, including Northwest Coast Indigenous design history and traditions.  These approaches to images and objects are quite different from conventional, western ideas about “Art” that is primarily aesthetically pleasing or focused on self-expression.  The program is designed to support both students who are visual art emphasizers, as well as those who are interested in education. No prior art experience is necessary --  enthusiasm, good organization, and a strong work ethic are required.

The morning lectures, seminars, and workshops will provide an overview of contemporary Northwest Indigenous arts by looking at work by Indigenous artists, scholars, and curators. You will be introduced to innovative work being made by contemporary Indigenous artists to consider the challenges they face in developing their practice. You will also gain insights into current writing being produced by Indigenous scholars developing theories from an Indigenous perspective.

During the first half of the quarter, students will be introduced to the Adobe Illustrator application.  During the second half of the quarter, students will use industry-leading techniques to make digital images that they will print in the Printmaking Studio using the photo-emulsion serigraphy process. Throughout the digital design and printmaking studio experiences, students will develop foundational skills in Northwest Native design and explore ways how learning Indigenous design can influence their own artistic practices. Students will build on their visual literacy skills in Pacific Northwest Indigenous art, with a particular focus on the Northwest Coast Formline art style. Students will create a new conceptual body of work with an emphasis on professional editioning practices.


Spring 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30238
Fr (16): 30241

Academic details

Preparatory For

Indigenous Studies, Visual Arts, and Education

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$40 for museum entrance fees and $100 for the required studio fee.

Special Expenses

Students can expect to pay up to $100 for printmaking materials: printing paper, and personal supplies.  Costs may vary depending on student's individual scale of their projects.


In Person or Remote
In Person
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

Art Annex 2104 - Critique