A lost collection of Art, found
photo by: Marcy Merrill
Landry's Smoke Signal Museum
Shoalwater Bay Reservation, Tokeland WA circa 1976
Landry’s Art Studio
Shoalwater Bay, WA
Something had to be done
When artist Judith Altruda found a lost art collection in the attic of an old building in Grayland, Washington, she knew she had to act fast. Stored for over two decades in an unheated building, many of the canvases were moldy and moisture damaged. There were at least 70 paintings and drawings by Eugene Landry stacked underneath dusty bed sheets. They had not seen the light of day since the mid-90s.
Altruda bought the collection and began the work of restoration. She knew about Landry’s art but knew little about the man. What emerged was the story of a gifted artist who refused to let a disability get in his way. Inseparable from his story is that of his tribe, which faced many challenges during Gene’s lifetime.
In the Fall of 2019, Humanities Washington in partnership with the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe awarded a storyteller’s grant to Altruda. In 2020, an exhibit of Eugene Landry’s restored art will open at the Na`m`sc`ac` Heritage Museum, and travel to different locations in Washington State. A catalog of art and interviews will be available to order online in 2020.
Shoalwater Bay tribal member Mary Downs holds the portrait Gene painted of her in 1969. It will be displayed with other restored works in 2020.
preserving the art of Eugene Landry
The project goals are to preserve and share the art of Eugene Landry with the world outside the Shoalwater Bay reservation. We hope to inspire others by presenting a profile of Eugene Landry that reflects his courage, stamina and unbreakable creative spirit.