Even though the above Chilkat weaving is in honor of the priest I grew up with, Father Cyril Bulashevich, I use this image here in honor of Walter Porter from Yakutat, Alaska. In his own way, because he was what I would regard as a spiritual man, Walter Porter was “priestly.” It’s really the only way I have known him. (The first time I met his wife, MaryAnn Porter, was at the Chilkat weaving class taught by Jennie Thlunaut in 1985 – MaryAnn and I were fellow students.) Hearing of Walter’s passing on November 6th was shocking. Fellow artist, Preston Singletary texted me; I spent the entire week passing tears not able to do much else really. I know the news hit Preston even harder as both Walter and he were planning on working together again. The way I see Walter, the entire State of Alaska received a big blow, a big loss to our spiritual/emotional way of being.
Walter was our guest speaker at the 2nd Biennial Northwest Coast Artists’ Gathering in 2008. His lecture was recorded and is on his website. Walter was an interpreter, a guide to assist us into thinking differently about the way we saw our world.
Condolences to our MaryAnn, their children and family. A big hole has been left – We will miss him for the rest of our lives!
To get a glimpse of Walter and his work, please visit Walter’s website at: http://www.tlinkimo.com/