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Art for Fins and Flippers

The Dorsal Spin
“Eagle’s Pride,” © Odin Lonning, 2010.

This column was on hiatus for a bit while Chez VHP dealt with what Jon Stewart cleverly dubs "the bubons," and we traveled to several off-Island gigs such as the OrcaSing on San Juan Island and another fabulous event at the Evergreen State College Longhouse. At both places, we memorialized our beloved orca patriarch Ruffles (J1). How fortunate we could sing his praises twice in the Longhouse this year!

Summer is art market season, and Odin has two shows in early August. "In the Spirit" Native Arts Market and Festival is on August 6 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, outdoors at the Washington State History Museum in downtown Tacoma. Due to the lousy economy, this year’s market is a one-day event instead of a weekend show. Get there by 10:30 on Saturday if you want to see Odin perform with Alaska Kuuteeya Dancers. Admission is free.

On August 13, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, Odin will sell artwork at the 2011 Indigenous Cultures Day Celebration. This event features Indigenous dance from around the world, including powwow dances.

Many thanks to the person of refined taste who bought Odin’s painting "Eagle’s Pride" at the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie in July. Odin’s "Eagle’s Pride," shown in this week’s photo, looks quite contemporary; however, highly abstract imagery is intrinsic to centuries-old traditional Tlingit formline. Think Chilkat weaving.

Speaking of the abysmal economy, Odin’s art sales provide much-needed support for VHP education, research, and marine mammal stranding response. By the way, scrumptious Orca Blend purchases at the Roasterie also help the VHP, for which we are eternally grateful to Eva.

We appreciate everyone who called us with various reports of seals, Dall’s porpoises, the Humpback at the south end (now gone), and the poor, shockingly thin young Gray whale who eventually stranded in Bremerton on July 27. Read about the necropsy at

The VHP anticipates more calls regarding seal pups this month, as pupping season is upon us. Take care not to disturb the little cuties as they wait ashore for their moms to return.

Please support the work of the Vashon Hydrophone Project (VHP): REPORT LOCAL WHALE SIGHTINGS ASAP TO 463-9041. Reporting directly to the VHP sustains an ongoing, accurate dataset of whale sightings for Vashon-Maury and contiguous Central Puget Sound waters, initiated more than 30 years ago by researcher Mark Sears. Call the VHP about seal pups as well as dead, injured, or sick marine mammals on Island beaches. Check for updates at and send photos to Orca Annie at