Angler's Coffee Releases First Nation Artist Series with the Artwork of Kevin Paul
Angler's Coffee is proud to showcase regional and national artists who share our commitment to supporting and preserving our native fish species and their habitats with our range of Artist Series Coffees.
These special coffees are selected by our founder for their unique qualities, limited availability, and interesting stories.
Our First Nation Artist Series coffees feature the art of renowned First Nation carver and artist Kevin Paul of the Swinomish Tribe in coastal Washington State. In their native language Lushootseed, “Swinomish” means “Salmon People.”
Kevin Paul was born in 1960 in the Swinomish Indian Nation on Puget Sound in LaConner, Washington. Kevin, a respected tribal elder, is a master artist of contemporary and traditional First Nation carvings and paintings and as “the keeper of the drum” he advocates for passing on his Swinomish legacy. Kevin has taught Northwest Wood Carving in the La Conner Schools since 1994, passing down this important art-form to countless generations of First Nations children. Read more about Kevin Paul and our partnership here.
Angler’s co-founder Ken Barnes had an opportunity to sit down and chat with Kevin Paul, and we learned about how his entry into the arts began as a young child fascinated by elder carvers. “When I was about nine years old, I was going to summer school and had to pass by the shop of a gentleman by the name of Mike Claudesby. He was teaching Swinomish kids how to carve “eagle-whale,” a much recognized motif in our culture. I stopped by his shop every day just to watch. Eventually he noticed me and asked if I’d like to learn to carve. Naturally I wanted to so Mike said, ‘well, ask your dad and get yourself a pocket knife’. So I bugged my dad for a pocket knife telling him I needed to learn how to carve. My dad taught me the right way to do it, take your time, feel the blade and burnish it with a piece of leather to bring the edge over. I started learning with Mike and just kept on carving.
Then I met another carver, another gentleman by the name of Alma Klein who was up the road. He had a little shop next to his house. I used to purposely miss the school bus just so I could watch him. Eventually Alma noticed me. ‘You come to see the carvings? I'll show you something. If you're going to watch me carve, I might as well teach you!’ Alma is who really started me on the path. I fell in love with the art. Kind of grabbed my spirit - still does. And I didn’t do it for money, although I make a living from my art. Again, it kinda grabbed my spirit - to be part of the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next. That’s how my people do it. And to pass it on - that’s gifting - the pleasure I get from sharing my art”
Paul let us know that the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has been eagerly waiting for the launch of this new limited release series from Angler’s Coffee. “People at the tribe are asking for this. They want this. We put the bag images on my Facebook and it went wild! Oh, my God.” We join this enthusiasm, and are thrilled to share Kevin Paul’s artwork, paired perfectly with delicious certified single origin coffees, with the Angler’s Coffee Community. You can read more about each of our First Nation Artist Series offerings here.For every First Nation Artist Series bag sold, $1 will go to the Upper Skagit Tribe working in partnership with the Skagit Watershed Council in Northwestern Washington State, an organization working communally to restore salmon and trout to the Skagit and Samish Rivers.