7pm, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center gallery, Anchorage, AK
Sculptor and photographer Da-ka-xeen Mehner(Tlingit/N'ishga)uses the tools of his ancestry and personal history to build art that stems from an examination of his multi-cultural heritage and of social expectations and definitions. Join him for a discussion of his solo show at the museum.
Noon, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center gallery, Anchorage, AK
Artist Ryan Romer discusses his ongoing photo documentary series made while traveling in Western Alaska along the Kuskokwim River, the region where he was raised, and created in collaboration with residents.
An article about the Bentwood Hat Master Artists and Apprentices Workshop, hosted by The Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Musum on March 5 – 9, appears in the April/May 2012 issue of First Alaskans magazine: “Carving Tradition: Master Artisans Pass Down the Secrets to Making Aleut Bentwood Hats.” Copy attached: Download Carving Tradition FAM AM2012
Unangax (Aleut) Master Artists Patricia Lekanoff-Gregory and Michael Livingston will train apprentices in the endangered traditional Alaska Native art of bentwood hat making from March 6 – 9th.
While bentwood hats were practical headgear for Aleutian Islands hunters as they traveled in kayaks, they also served as important ceremonial works of art to vividly express the spiritual connection between maritime hunters and sea creatures.
The artists’ working process will be filmed throughout the residency and the rich traditional knowledge that surround this iconic Unangax cultural object will be documented. Museum visitors are invited to observe Master Artist and apprentice teams carve, bend and decorate bentwood hats in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center throughout the week.
The Alaska’s Living Cultural Treasures Master Artist and Apprentice residency program is sponsored by the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Anchorage Museum and National Endowment for the Arts. The program is funded in part through a National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts Partnership grant.
In May 2011, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Alaska State Council on the Arts, and Anchorage Museum hosted a workshop to highlight a key implement of Arctic survival – the sinew-webbed snowshoe. Join Koyukon Athabascan master artists George Albert and Butch Yaska, Gwich’in Athabascan culture-bearer Trimble Gilbert, their interns and museum visitors to learn about this traditional art and about Athabascan culture. Click here to view.
Additional films are also available. From the NMNH YouTube page select the playlists tab, then select “Living Our Cultures” from the column of options.
Join Anchorage-based, freelance photographer Brian Adams for a talk on his work documenting Alaska Native villages and his new book project with the University of Alaska Press. Adams specializes in environmental portraiture and medium-format photography and his work has been featured in national and international publications including The New York Times, Time and The Guardian.