PO Box 820 Milton, WA 98354  T: 206.906.8029    F: 866.572.0502

www.qwalsius.com   shaun@qwalsius.com


Education and Training
I am a Native American artist producing work that is a continuation of the ancient art of the Northwest Coast first peoples. While knowledgeable and invested in diverse tribal styles and applications, my focus and expertise is the art of the Southern regions that encompass the many tribes of Western Washington and Southern British Columbia known as Salish territory.   Master artists Steve Brown, Greg Colfax (Makah), George David (Nuu-chah-nulth), and Loren White have trained me in the traditions of my ancestors; their openness of style, technique, and trial efforts in experience continue to make my journey comfortable and rich.



Selected Exhibitions

13    Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Emerging from a Shadow: select print works of Qwalsius - Shaun Peterson

12    Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Treasures of the Northwest Coast: A Group Exhibition

11    Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada. Coast Salish Masterworks: Connecting the Past to the Present

10    Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle, WA. Eyes for Glass: the Price Collection

        Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Phil Gray and Shaun Peterson : Northern and Southern Traditions

        Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. The Head Adorned: Helmets, Hats, Frontlets, Masks & Jewelry

        Quintana Galleries, Portland, OR. Shaun Peterson: Works on Paper


09   Espace Cosmopolis, Nantes, France. La quinzaine americaine a Cosmopolis: (Coast Salish Art Exhibition)

       Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Raven and Eagle: Love of the Northwest Coast

08   Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. S’abadeb: the Gifts. Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists (traveling)

       Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. This Coast Salish Place


07   Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC. Transporters: Contemporary Salish Art

       Burke Museum, Seattle, WA. In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Native Art

06   Kaohsiung Cultural Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  Raven, Hundred-Pace Viper, and the Ocean: A Transpacific Collaboration in Native    Arts

   Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Born of Myth and Fire: Celebrating Northwest Art in Glass

05  Museum of Arts & Design, New York, New York. Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation, Part 2 – Contemporary North American Art   from the West, Northwest, and Pacific (traveling)

Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Awakenings: An Exhibit of Contemporary Coast Salish Art

Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA. Carving A Legacy: Innovation in Coast Salish Art

04   Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. Song, Story, Speech: Oral Tradition of Puget Sound’s First People

Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Rekindling Spirit: New Works by Artists of the Pacific 

  Northwest Coast

03 Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. The Ceremonial Season: A Group Exhibition Honoring Tradition, Ceremony and Celebration

   Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Evolving Traditions: Northwest Coast Art in Glass

The Evergreen State College Longhouse, Olympia, WA. 

  First Gathering of Northwest Native Woodcarvers

02 White River Museum, Auburn, WA. Ahl Tee-ah: Art from Salish Roots

  Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco, CA (traveling). Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists 

00 Stonington Gallery, Seattle WA. Salish Stories in Cedar and Glass: Shaun Peterson and Steve Brown

  Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Transformations & Magic on the Northwest Coast

98 Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. Celebrating the Season: Vessels for the Feast


Select Commissions/Installations


August 2013 University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Awarded the commission to create an installation that reflects Coast Salish heritage with emphasis of the Duwamish mythology from which Chief Sealth was leader. Four designated areas of the Husky Union Building (HUB) will be addressed by two mixed media pieces depicting North Wind and Storm Wind personified partly as humans. Two other panels of carved and painted red cedar are also planned; the first, three salmon mixing color variations of the same graphic and the second, a Frog and Moon panel all drawing from Duwamish tribal mythology. All are approximately 48”h x 48”w x 4”d.


May 2013 Mary Bridge Hospital, Tacoma, WA


As part of an expanded wing to the children’s hospital there are two conference rooms located at different floors that were requested be reflective of the Northwest Coast Native art style. Each room will receive a 40”h x 60”w canvas on the feature wall. The first is called “silvers” a grouping of salmon swimming in a strong current in the Coast Salish style. The second, called “at play” is of a Sea Otter diving into the water looking through the seagrass for food.


May 2012 Chehalis Tribal Enterprise, Chehalis, WA


Commissioned by the Chehalis tribe to depict their tribal mythology developing the concepts with a panel of elders and a consulting historian. The space was an expanded wing corridor of the Eagles Landing Hotel with a designated wall space the measured 5’h x 40’w x 6’d. The installation was segmented into five segments each with a specific story within. Below each section was an audio component which allows visitors to listen to recorded audio of elders describing the story in their language. The mediums include powder coated aluminum, sandblasted glass, carved red and yellow cedar, and a painted background mural.


June 2011 Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma, WA


Worked closely with a group of advisors to create works for a new Elders building facility the included carved cedar house posts representing male and female ancestors and a symbolic grandmother figure representing Mt. Rainier sacred to the Puyallup people located about the doorway entrance which served to greet visitors for gathering times. A triptych canvas was also installed called “Foundations I” that shows a scene of a man in a canoe with salmon underwater as well as an octopus with the trees and mountain above with a moon and north wind in the sky. Two glass and cedar panels depicting wolves and the mountain on one and Octopus on the other relief carved and sandblasted glass.


September 2010 City of Tacoma & Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Tacoma, WA.


Known historically to the Puyallup people as spuy'elepebS the section of land now called Tollefson Plaza is home to a female welcome figure standing approximately 24ft tall. This was a commission which faced many complications and challenges and marked an important partnership between the City of Tacoma, Puyallup tribe and Tacoma Art Museum. Highly innovated, a metal support system was devised and embedded within the sculpture for it’s structural support. It signifies Puyallup as well as the greater Coast Salish communities presence in the modern era.


May 2006 Puyallup Tribal Health Authority- Pediatrics, Tacoma, WA.


Ten designs were conceptualized to brighten the blank white privacy films of the exam room windows throughout the newly refurbished pediatrics facility of the Health Authority. Designs were done in a child like rendering of characters in Adobe Illustrator and output as color print vinyl for durability each in 24” diameter including Sun, Moon, Frog, Blue Jay, Red Tail Hawk, Beaver, Squirrel, Salmon, Killer Whale and Salmon Mother and embryo.


June 2005 Muckleshoot Health & Wellness Center, Auburn, WA. 


Five glass and cedar panels were commissioned through Stonington Gallery for the Muckleshoot Tribe’s new health facility. Subjects of characters were largely determined by individuals on the health committee for the artwork. All five panels: sandblasted glass, red cedar, acrylic. “Bear” and “Raven” (vertical) 46”h x 34”w x 3 ½”d. “Elk”, “Deer”, and “Salmon” 34”h x 46”w x 3 ½”d.


May 2005 Emerald Queen Casino Hotel & Restaurant, Fife, WA. 


Nine glass panels were commissioned to enhance the casino’s restaurant area with Native American décor referencing the local Salish style through glass work using the image of salmon and halibut. “Salmon glass panels” (4 pair) sandblasted glass 20”h x 54”w x 3/8”d. “Halibut glass panel” sandblasted glass 20”h x 36”w x 3/8”d.


September 2004 Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, Tacoma, WA. 


Three aluminum water jet and laser cut animal images were commissioned to enhance the newly renovated administration facilities.  Once cut the works were powder coated to coordinate with the color scheme of the new building interior. Existing print works as well as original paintings were a part of the purchase for the job. “Killer Whale” powder coated aluminum  46”h x 98”w x 3/16” d.  “Arched  Salmon” powder coated aluminum  48”h x 96”w x 3/16”d.  “Salmon and Egg” powder coated aluminum 72”h x 72”w x 3/16”d.



September 2002 Portland Avenue Business District, Tacoma, WA. 


Designed light standards and bus shelters utilizing traditional Coast Salish designs for the Portland Avenue Business District and Pierce Transit. The bus shelters (2)  are designed using a Salmon motif and ancient tribal design using basic elements of the tribal art. The light standards (8) alternate between Frog and Moon designs. “Salmon Continuum” bus shelter - aluminum, sandblasted glass, paint 98”h x 78”w x 48”d. “Frog Woman” powder coated aluminum 32”h x 46”w x 3/8”d. “Dakwibalth-Moon/Changer” powder coated aluminum 32”h x 42”w x 3/8”d.


August 2002 Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Tacoma, WA. 


First Fisherman wool blanket reproduced by Northwest Pendleton Company.  A call to artists was made by the Tribal council seeking artists to design a blanket that would represent the Puyallup Nation.  The relevance of the design and title pertain dearly to the people and their famous struggle with the right to fish as promised in the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854.  Wool 62”w x 78”h.


November 1999 Seattle Center, Seattle, WA.


“Powers of the Natural World” panels were commissioned to enhance the food court of the Seattle Center during the “Folk Life Festival”.  The two panels were done in the Coast Salish style in form of etched Plexiglas enclosed by a cedar frame above the West entry doorway in the center plaza.  Design team: Steve Brown and Shaun Peterson.  “Killer Whale” and “Thunderbird” Plexiglas, red cedar.  20”h x 76”w x ¾“d.


 June 1999 Economic Development Department, Tacoma, WA.


“Salmon, Moon, and Mountain” mural consisting of a two-piece red cedar panel with acrylic on the wall surface.  Low relief carving on the unpainted red cedar helped to bring an element of Northwest Native imagery to the lobby of the Economic Development Department on the 10th floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building.  Red cedar, cedar bark, acrylic, abalone shell.  42”h x 78”w x ¾ “d. “Eagle Spirit” designed glass doors for the entrance to the meeting room around the corner from the lobby.  Etched glass, copper.  72”h x 72”w x 3/8 “d.


June 1998 Seattle Aquarium, Seattle, WA. 


Seattle Aquarium in association with Seattle Arts Commission sought out an artist to create works in cedar to coincide with the aquariums new permanent “Watershed” exhibit as to demonstrate the relationship of natural watershed habitat and Northwest Coast Native Arts.  The three panels were carved in the Coast Salish style from red cedar.  “Raven” red cedar. 35”h x 50”w x ¾ “d. “Sea Otter” red cedar.  33”h x 34”w x ¾”d.  “Salmon” red cedar.  40”h x 48”w x ¾ “d.


June 1996 Chief Leschi Schools, Puyallup, WA. 


“Return of the Story Pole” created for the entrance of the school along with two large panels representing the Puyallup Tribe and the School itself.  The pole was the first carved and raised representing Puyallup tribal mythology in 

over sixty years prior its existence.   Carvers: Shaun Peterson, Bruce Cook III, Jerry Jones, Reuben Wright Jr., Jim Ancheta, and Mac McCloud.



Awards and Grants 


13 Greater Tacoma Community Foundation Arts Award, Tacoma, WA

12 Coast Salish Art, Coast Salish Voices: Raising Awareness of a Regional

  Cultural Style National Endowment of the Arts, Washington DC

09 Native Arts Grant - Potlatch Fund, Seattle, WA

07 Native Creative Development Program Grants to Artists - Evergreen Longhouse

  Olympia, WA





Seattle Art Museum

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Swedish Medical Hospital

City of Tacoma: Cultural & Tourism Division

Fuzhou, China: Government collection

Kaohsiung, Taiwan: Government collection

Kitakyushu, Japan: Government collection



Demonstrations and Lectures


13 University of Washington, Seattle, WA. “Coast Salish Art in the 21st Century”


12 Goddard College, Port Townsend, WA. “Ethics, Cultural Tradition and Art Practice”


Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA. “Short Takes on Nature”


05 Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. “The Puget Sound Tide Rises: Contemporary Coast Salish Art in 21st Century” 


02 The Burke Museum, Seattle, WA. “Winter at the Burke: Native American Carvers Demonstrate Their Talents”  


The Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center, Squaxin Island, WA. “Salish Design: A Historical Overview” 


01 Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA. “Carving Demonstrations at the Stonington Gallery”



Published Essays


13 “Coast Salish Design: An Anticipated Southern Analysis” in In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum Wright, Robin K. and Bunn-Marcuse, Kathryn University of Washington Press Due out June 2013


08 “The Journey Has Just Begun” in S’abadeb The Gifts: Pacific Coast Salish Art and Artists Brotherton, Barbara University of Washington Press




13 Bunn-Marcuse, Kathryn. “Seattle's Native American art reconnects with Salish tribes' traditions” The Guardian, Travel May 24th, 2013

10 Norris, Karen and Ralph. Contemporary Art on the Northwest Coast: Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, Makah Schiffer Publishing Ltd 2010


Cooper, Kathleen. “Statue unveiling brings Puyallup Tribe, Tacoma together at Tollefson Plaza” The Tacoma News Tribune, South Sound. September 19th, 2010


Ponnekanti, Rosemary. “20-foot carving will welcome Tacoma visitors”The Tacoma News Tribune, Main. August 15th, 2010


09 Jensen, Clare. “Cultures Overlap” Puyallup Tribal News. September 3rd, 2009


Haley, Peter. “She’ll Welcome Visitors to the Plaza”. The Tacoma News Tribune, South Sound. September 2nd, 2009


08 Farr, Sheila. "S'abadeb — The Gifts": An inside look at Coast Salish art and culture. The Seattle Times, Entertainment & the Arts section. October 19th, 2008.


05 Hsu, Judy Chia Hui. “Coast Salish art for the ages from two generations”. The Seattle Times, Entertainment & the Arts section. September 16th, 2005.


    Wagonfeld, Judy “’Awakenings’ breathes new life into Salish’s spiritual heritage.” The Seattle PI, Theatre/Fine Arts sections. August 26th, 2005


  Graves ,Jen. “Saluting the Salish”   The Tacoma News Tribune, Soundlife. June 17th, 2005


03 Gangelhoff ,Bonnie. “Singing to the Moon” Southwest Art Magazine: Indian Art edition.  

August 2003.


Wagonfeld , Judy. “The Perfect Couple: Native American artifacts and Glass Art”.  The Seattle PI, Theater/Fine Arts section.  June 6th, 2003


02 Graves, Jen. “Salish Ways” The Tacoma News Tribune, Soundlife.  November 28th, 2002


Stein ,Julie and Phillips ,Laura.  Vashon Island Archaeology: A View form Burton Acres Shell Midden. University of Washington Press 2002


Kastner ,Carolyn.  Fusing Traditions: Transformations in Glass by Native American Artists.  Catalogue; Museum of Craft & Folk Art 2002.


McNutt ,Nan. Uncle Jerry’s Canoe. Evergreen State College 2002


Brown ,Steve. “Norman Feder and the Central Coast Salish Style” A Tribute to Norman Feder: European Studies of American Indian Art.  European Review of Native American Studies.  University of Washington Press 2001


Brown , Steve . “Back to the Roots: Rebirth in the Central Coast Salish Style” Native Visions: Evolution in Northwest Coast Art from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth CenturyUniversity of Washington Press 1998.