Eugene Landry

The Story of an Artist, a Time and a Tribe

Finding a Lost Collection of Art in the Pacific Northwest

In 2019 I found a collection of art in a coastal Washington attic. It had been sitting in a building without electricity or heat for a quarter of a century, forgotten. The artist who created it, Eugene Landry, was a member of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. I met him briefly in the late 1970s. I was a budding artist, and he was a seasoned professional.

Decades later, wanting to write a magazine article about Landry, I started looking for examples of his art. I never expected such a trove. At least 70 paintings and drawings by Eugene Landry were stacked underneath dusty bed sheets. They had not seen the light of day since the mid-90’s. Finding so much art changed everything.

Landry’s art sparked stories within the tribal community, functioning as cultural cue cards on mid-20th-century reservation life. With so many stories, the magazine article grew into a book. The restored art became an exhibit. And this is just the beginning.

—Judith Altruda, Astoria, Oregon

Portrait of Gene, An Artist, A Tribe, and a Time, winner of a 2019 Humanities Washington Storytellers Grant

Photo of Judith Altruda discovering the artwork of Eugene Landry in an attic.

Preserving Eugene’s Legacy

The project goals are to preserve and share the art of Eugene Landry with the world outside the Shoalwater Bay reservation.

Courage, Stamina And Unbreakable Creative Spirit

We hope to inspire others by presenting a profile of Eugene Landry that reflects his courage, stamina and unbreakable creative spirit.

Your purchase of this beautiful catalog helps bring Gene’s work back to life. We are offering this informational booklet of Gene’s work and life at cost.

Cover of Portrait of Gene Book

The 52 pages are filled with interviews, photos, and art. Produced with funding from a Humanities Washington 2019 Storytellers Grant. Priced at cost.

2022 Exhibit at the Na`m`sc`ac Heritage Museum in Tokeland WAshington

What a compelling, multi-layered experience, to see and feel Landry’s story unfold as his art evolves. A thousand small details create a nuanced conversation about culture and individuality, disability and transcendence, racism and reconciliation. I came away inspired, humbled, and wide awake to the sheer valiance it takes to create.

Joni Rodgers

New York Times Bestselling Author, Westport WA

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Shoalwater Bay Tribal Library Interior

Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Community Library and Heritage Museum

Open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm, to provide educational and resource materials with an extensive Native American collection of books. Our Library also offers many fun programs throughout the year for adults and children! Our Heritage Museum tells the story of the Shoalwater Bay Indian people, and shares our rich culture through contemporary art and historical artifacts. Museum displays include baskets, a historic canoe, carvings, archaeological items and photographic archives.

Museum Hours

Tuesday — Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call for information: (360) 267-8130

Getting To the Museum

4115 State Route 105 Tokeland, WA, 98590
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