Guardian Spirit: Mira Nakashima, Roxanne Swentzell and Carol Krena

  • PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania
  • /
  • October 22, 2010

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Three highlights of the upcoming event
Four Winds Gallery

Four Winds Gallery presents

Guardian Spirit

new and retrospective works by 

Roxanne Swentzell, Ceramicist

Carol Krena, Metalsmith

Mira Nakashima, Woodworker

October 22 - December 31

Meet the artists

Friday,October 22, 6-8pm and 
Saturday, October 23, 11am-5pm

5512 Walnut Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15232


The exhibition is a first time collaboration, featuring an assembly of career-spanning pieces. Despite their disparate cultural backgrounds, the artists are similarly informed by a deep reverence for earthly wisdom . The design of Nakashima's live-edge furniture is determined by the natural irregularities of the wood; the spirit of Swentzell's figural clay sculptures originates during the process of coiling the clay; the organic motifs of Krena's timeless jewelry are formed from precious metals and carefully selected stones. The artists' traditional, labor-intensive methods, reflect a commitment to gradual processes and a dirt-under-the-nails connection with the living earth. Today's increasing reverence for nature, truth, simplicity, and the independent spirit makes the lives and work of these incredible women especially meaningful. 
Nakashima, Krena, and Swentzell's intense skills illuminate the personalities of each piece of wood, metal, stone and bit of clay, letting forms arise intuitively in their adept hands. This honoring of material and tradition moves their pieces beyond the functional limits of furniture, jewelry, and figural sculpture. 

Roxanne Swentzell 

Swentzell's clay sculptures communicate the full spectrum of the human spirit. Born in 1962 into a family of renowned Santa Clara Pueblo potters, Swentzell was destined to express herself with clay. Using ancient techniques, layering coil upon coil, she allows the clay to lead her to the human experiences each sculpture reveals. Widely recognized as one of the top sculptors working today, Swentzell has won countless honors and her work is featured in prominent collections, including the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian where she was commissioned to create a permanent installation.  

Carol Krena 

Krena crafts jewelry that inspires awe at the extraordinary beauty the earth has to offer. Born in 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Krena had artistic leanings even in her childhood. With talent, determination, and an intuitive sense of how to best showcase natural materials, she taught herself to make jewelry. Krena's mastery of complex, sophisticated lapidary and metalsmithing techniques has led to an enthusiastic following and landed her works in museums and prestigious private collections worldwide.  

Mira Nakashima
Mira Nakashima is the only daughter of Japanese American woodworker George Nakashima, widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most important furniture designers. Born in 1942, Nakashima spent much of her youth in her father's workshop in New Hope, Pennsylvania. After studying architecture at Harvard and then at Waseda University in Tokyo, Nakashima became an integral addition to her father's studio. After his death in 1990, Nakashima continued his legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and design focused on emphasizing the woodworker's responsibility to the sacrificed tree.

For more information, please contact: 

Four Winds Gallery

Telephone: 412.682.5092


Elizabeth Evans
Four Winds Gallery

Four Winds Gallery
5512 Walnut St.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
About Four Winds Gallery

Established in 1974, Four Winds Gallery offers exceptional Southwestern Native American material. The Gallery's pieces encompass the finest historic items to works by today's most innovative contemporary artists such as Cody Sanderson and Shawn Bluejacket. The collection includes jewelry, pottery, weaving, sculpture, paintings, prints, folk art and photographs from the Edward Curtis Estate. Our owners are qualified appraisers and also seek to purchase individual objects or entire collections. In addition to the Southwestern collection, Four Winds Gallery is honored to represent vintage furniture by renowned woodworker George Nakashima (1905-1990) and current works by his daughter Mira Nakashima. This work is collected worldwide and posesses a natural beauty that we feel is in keeping with the rest of our collection. Four Winds is also the exclusive representative of metalsmith and jewelry designer Carol Krena.

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