Working in collaboration with Smithsonian, Retro 51 commissioned Native American artists to create unique artwork representing their heritage on two new Smithsonian Collection Tornados.
The Retro 51 Smithsonian Collection rollerball called Raven Steals the Sun is designed by artist James Peter Johnson and portrays the traditional Tlingit origin story of a Raven bringing light into the world. Each rollerball features the Tlingit artwork silkscreened on the stainless barrel, varnished in a matte clear coating and finished with antique silver accents. The Smithsonian top ring is engraved with a serial number and the sun logo is on the top disc.
Mr. Johnson is an award-winning Tlingit artist and carver, who was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. He belongs to the Tlingit Ch’áak’ Dakl’aweidi Clan (Eagle Killerwhale). His great great grandfather was Chief Gusht’eiheen (“Spray off the Dorsal Fin”) of the Dakl’aweidi of the Xutsnoowú Kwáan (Angoon, Alaska). His great grandfather was Chief Jimmy Johnson, and his grandfather was Chief Peter Johnson, after whom he is named. His strong ancestral history led him to purse the Tlingit art form. His late father, Franklin Johnson, first encouraged him to begin carving. Johnson has dedicated his life to continuing the Tlingit art form, honoring his ancestors through his work.