Presented by Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA)
“Enriching and Connecting our Island Community”

Sam Barr

This month we have the privilege of learning about Sam Barr, who is a Samish tribal citizen and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. While Sam grew up on Lopez Island, he has lived off and on Guemes Island throughout his life. “I have 5 generations of family on Guemes since contact (the initial encounter between cultures that were previously unaware of each other). And in pre-contact times, though somewhat unrecorded, thousands of years of family history. My granny Jacqueline Haddon-Bohn and great-grandfather Pete Bohn have been on Guemes for a while.”

 

Sam’s art is pretty traditional. He enjoys looking at historic examples of Coast Salish art and material culture and then trying to achieve the same themes in his work. He typically does wood relief carvings, some sculpting, and painting.  He considers himself young in his art journey but he’s a quick study and natural talent abounds. He’s passionate about ecological sciences, immersion in nature, and traditional Coast Salish culture and loves finding ways the combine all those things! “Historical pieces inspire me as far as artistic elements go. But for spiritual inspiration, motivation and drive, my mentors inspire me. Bill Julian Bailey and Brian Perry have played a huge role in encouraging me to stick with art, and to do art in a personal and authentic way.”

 

I first met Sam when he was working on a joint project led by artist Sarah Folden. He felt honored to be part of a team creating a mural to be installed at the Orcas Island Ferry Landing. It’s a magnificent illustration of the beauty that surrounds us. 

 

Sam spends a lot of time with family. “My wonderful partner and beautiful daughter, sister, parents, and grandparents are all on the island and it is a joy to raise my daughter in a deeply intergenerational atmosphere.” In addition to being a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, he helps run an inter-tribal youth conservation corps. He’s very curious and personally driven to learn as much as he can about his ancestors’ life ways in the Salish Sea and on Guemes Island. As a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer he’s been fortunate to learn a lot about archaeology. He told me “If anyone is willing to show and tell me about any artifacts they’ve ever found on Guemes, I would be SO GRATEFUL.” He assured me that he wouldn’t try to take away any artifacts from folks, and no one would be in trouble for having artifacts. He could simply inform them about what the origins are and even try to recreate them.

 

If you are interested in buying some of Sam’s art, it’s for sale on his Instagram account where he posts most of his art. He also sometimes sells through his friend’s store, Dry Dock Goods.

This month we have the privilege of learning about Sam Barr, who is a Samish tribal citizen and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. While Sam grew up on Lopez Island, he has lived off and on Guemes Island throughout his life. “I have 5 generations of family on Guemes since contact (the initial encounter between cultures that were previously unaware of each other). And in pre-contact times, though somewhat unrecorded, thousands of years of family history. My granny Jacqueline Haddon-Bohn and great-grandfather Pete Bohn have been on Guemes for a while.”

 

Sam’s art is pretty traditional. He enjoys looking at historic examples of Coast Salish art and material culture and then trying to achieve the same themes in his work. He typically does wood relief carvings, some sculpting, and painting.  He considers himself young in his art journey but he’s a quick study and natural talent abounds. He’s passionate about ecological sciences, immersion in nature, and traditional Coast Salish culture and loves finding ways the combine all those things! “Historical pieces inspire me as far as artistic elements go. But for spiritual inspiration, motivation and drive, my mentors inspire me. Bill Julian Bailey and Brian Perry have played a huge role in encouraging me to stick with art, and to do art in a personal and authentic way.”

 

I first met Sam when he was working on a joint project led by artist Sarah Folden. He felt honored to be part of a team creating a mural to be installed at the Orcas Island Ferry Landing. It’s a magnificent illustration of the beauty that surrounds us. 

 

Sam spends a lot of time with family. “My wonderful partner and beautiful daughter, sister, parents, and grandparents are all on the island and it is a joy to raise my daughter in a deeply intergenerational atmosphere.” In addition to being a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, he helps run an inter-tribal youth conservation corps. He’s very curious and personally driven to learn as much as he can about his ancestors’ life ways in the Salish Sea and on Guemes Island. As a Tribal Historic Preservation Officer he’s been fortunate to learn a lot about archaeology. He told me “If anyone is willing to show and tell me about any artifacts they’ve ever found on Guemes, I would be SO GRATEFUL.” He assured me that he wouldn’t try to take away any artifacts from folks, and no one would be in trouble for having artifacts. He could simply inform them about what the origins are and even try to recreate them.

 

If you are interested in buying some of Sam’s art, it’s for sale on his Instagram account where he posts most of his art. He also sometimes sells through his friend’s store, Dry Dock Goods.

SAM BARR, Basket

SAM BARR, Orcas Island Ferry Landing Mural

SAM BARR, Wrapped Arrowhead

SAM BARR, Canoe

Find more examples of his work here!