Stacked art is present all over the world, from beautiful carvings in Poland to the First Nation poles of the Pacific Northwest. In our culture these pieces are often called totems. This term was first derived from the Ojibwa word “ototeman.” Europeans adapted this word to describe tall, multiple-figure poles first made only by the Northwest Coast Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian peoples.
To respect and honor this history, most artists will call pieces like these garden stackers, stacked art or pottery poles. These stacked ceramic artworks are a narrative exploration for each artist, some literal, some more abstract. This exhibit by Clay Arts Vegas, “The Sum is a Total of the Parts,” showcases artistic ceramic expressions of totem pieces. On exhibit through August 23.