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Beginning in the 1930s-40s, the movement's early participants Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves and Mark Tobey combined natural elements of the Puget Sound area with the mid-century Modernist aesthetic to create a novel and distinct regional style. Diffuse lighting, earthy tonal ranges, and local signs and symbols in the work of Northwest School artists further earned them the enduring label of mystics. Their work became recognized nationally when LIFE published a 1953 feature article on them, and was largely interpreted as a spiritual interpretation of Northwest life. Although most denied being a "school" of art, they did know and influence one another and younger artists in a style that would emerge to be uniquely Northwest.