Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI to sponsor public roundtables with artists featured in mask exhibit

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Event to include prominent Native artists from Alaska, Washington and Canada

July 5, 2017

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a viewing of its exhibit on Alaska Native masks and roundtable discussions with the prominent artists whose work is featured in the display in a day-long, free event that is open to the public.

The event will kick off with a guided tour of the exhibit, Alaska Native Masks: Art & Ceremony, which includes 50 masks from the Iñupiat, Yup’ik, Alutiiq, Athabascan, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. The exhibit formally opened in 2017 and is on display in the Nathan Jackson Gallery at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau.

The event will then move to the clan house in the building for roundtable discussions with master artists from Alaska, Washington State and Canada, including Earl Atchak—a well-known traditional Cup’ik artist; internationally acclaimed Northwest Coast artists David A. Boxley and Robert Davidson; Perry Eaton, whose Alutiiq masks are exhibited nationally and internationally; nationally known Iñupiaq sculptor Larry Ahvakana and a number of other prominent Native artists. The roundtables will conclude with a group discussion.  

The artists will address a number of topics, including the differences, if any, between how they view art made for the market versus pieces used in ceremony, said SHI President Rosita Worl.

“They will also discuss the major issues facing artists today and possible solutions. We’ll seek their advice on SHI’s expanding art programs and priorities and on our developing partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute of American Indian Arts in our effort to build more opportunities for Native artists,” said Worl, adding the event is part of SHI’s effort to promote cross-cultural understanding.

The event is scheduled 9 am-5 pm, Tuesday, July 25, at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building. Following the tour of the exhibit, SHI staff will provide an overview of SHI’s art programs and initiatives. The first panel will convene from 10 am-12 pm, followed by a second panel from 1 pm-3 pm and a group discussion from 3:30 pm-5 pm.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

CONTACT: Rosita Worl, SHI President, 907.463.4844