Homegrown: What’s it all about

“Children in Newtok, Alaska playing on land erosion” by Brian Adams, Inupiaq, photographic print, 2008. Museum Purchase, 2011.10.3. “This image is important because it actually showed who was being impacted by coastal erosion and global warming. This is a new generation that has something new to think about and something to have to deal with. It was always important to capture youth in this project because it’s the next generation that is going to have to work through this.”

“Children in Newtok, Alaska playing on land erosion” by Brian Adams, Inupiaq, photographic print, 2008. Museum Purchase, 2011.10.3. “This image is important because it actually showed who was being impacted by coastal erosion and global warming. This is a new generation that has something new to think about and something to have to deal with. It was always important to capture youth in this project because it’s the next generation that is going to have to work through this.”

 

“Our Lady of Amchitka”by Rebecca Lyon, Athabascan & Unangax,  driftwood, yellow & red cedar, pumice, horse hair, aluminum, steel, brass, sea shells, glass, paint, 2007. Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund Purchase, 2008.20.17 “[This is] dedicated to my uncle, (Sonny) Elmer S. Brown, and all the men and women who worked at the Amchitka bombsites, many of whom have lost their lives due to radioactive exposure on the island. The half-woman, half-fish figure represents the spirit of the island of Amchitka and the natural world. Her crucifixion on a rusty iron cross represents the crimes that we as a nation have committed against her in our arrogance with the underground nuclear bomb testing, which took place during 1965 to 1967 and culminating with the five-megaton Cannikin blast in 1971.”

“Our Lady of Amchitka”by Rebecca Lyon, Athabascan & Unangax, driftwood, yellow & red cedar, pumice, horse hair, aluminum, steel, brass, sea shells, glass, paint, 2007. Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund Purchase, 2008.20.17. “[This is] dedicated to my uncle, (Sonny) Elmer S. Brown, and all the men and women who worked at the Amchitka bombsites, many of whom have lost their lives due to radioactive exposure on the island.
The half-woman, half-fish figure represents the spirit of the island of Amchitka and the natural world. Her crucifixion on a rusty iron cross represents the crimes that we as a nation have committed against her in our arrogance with the underground nuclear bomb testing, which took place during 1965 to 1967 and culminating with the five-megaton Cannikin blast in 1971.”

On view through September 11, 2016, “Our Story” is an exhibition at the Anchorage Museum featuring work by Alaska native artists who blend traditional and contemporary techniques to explore place and culture through multiple viewpoints.

     “As Alaska Native peoples, we gather strength and are unified by sharing our own stories through words, art and objects of the past. Only recently, Indigenous art was defined and described by non-Indigenous people in museums, books and galleries,” explained Our Story curator and artist Drew Michael (Yup’ik/Iñupiaq). “The art in this exhibition helps tell the story of what it means to be Alaska Native from the perspective of Indigenous artists themselves.”

“Keeping My Head” by Susie Silook, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, walrus ivory, pigment, baleen, brass, wood, 2007. Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund Purchase, 2008.2.1. “We can just survive something and live with it forever, or you can address that demon and come to some peace about it and, hopefully, it will help others. We have to believe in being positive to keep our minds, our amuaks, strong. It’s a combination of your consciousnesses, your spirit, and your personality. I try to build that into the fabric of my life, being careful not to hurt other people’s amuaks.”

“Keeping My Head” by Susie Silook, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, walrus ivory, pigment, baleen, brass, wood, 2007. Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund Purchase, 2008.2.1. “We can just survive something and live with it forever, or you can address that demon and come to some peace about it and, hopefully, it will help others. We have to believe in being positive to keep our minds, our amuaks, strong. It’s a combination of your consciousnesses, your spirit, and your personality. I try to build that into the fabric of my life, being careful not to hurt other people’s amuaks.”

     Tlingit artist Ricky Tagaban does this metaphorically and literally with his work “Pouch”, an iPhone bag made out of wool, cedar bark and suede. Photographer Brian Adams looks at environmental change in his photograph “Children in Newtok, Alaska Playing on Land Erosion.”

     “As a child I was drawn to objects that represented my cultural heritage. I wanted to learn from the artists themselves, but did not have that opportunity. All of the work included in this exhibition is made by artists who have influenced me and my own work. We are on the path to protect and activate our culture,” said Michael.

 




Published by on November 2015. Filed under Alaska, At the Museums dept, News (Time related), Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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