The Sheldon Jackson Museum will host two different virtual Alaska Native Artist-in-Residence-led art classes in July. The first class will be taught by current artist-in-residence Abel Ryan (Tsimshian) and will focus on painting formline designs; the second class will be taught by upcoming artist-in-residence June Pardue (Alutiiq) and will show how to create a pair of fish skin or moosehide earrings with porcupine quill and beaded embellishments. Both classes will be taught on Zoom and be free of charge. Both classes require different materials, have different age limits and recommended age groups.

The Virtual Painting Class on Zoom with Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan will take place Saturday, July 11th at 3pm. During this one-hour virtual class, Ryan, the first artist in this year’s Alaska Native Artist Residency Program, will teach how to paint formline designs using acrylic paint. To participate, people can go to the link: and enter the meeting ID: 842 1638 0113 and password: 693862. This zoom link, meeting ID and password information will also be posted to the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum Facebook page and emailed to members of the public programs email list.

Students attending Abel’s formline design painting class will need to have materials ready to participate including: plain paper (sketch pad or copy paper is fine), watercolor paper or acrylic paper, acrylic paint in the colors black, red, turquoise, brushes (the artist recommends #6 round, #2 or #3 round) a pencil (artist recommends 3H), eraser, and small palette tray for holding paint. There is no age limit for attendees and no limit to the number who can sign up, however, children ages 4 and under may need assistance from an adult.
The second virtual class to be offered on Zoom will be led by Alutiiq/Sugpiaq artist June Pardue and show students how to make a pair of earrings using hide (moose or fish skin) and porcupine quills. During this class, students will prepare porcupine quills for sewing onto a hide (fish skin or moose), learn line basting on a surface to keep quill work even, learn to add beads and backing, and attach an earring hook to the finished piece. An image of sample earrings appears in this press release.
Pardue’s earring making class will take place in two parts – the first will be Sat., July 25th 2-3:30pm; the second part will occur Tuesday, July 28th 2-3:30pm. Students should attend both sessions. The class will be limited to 12 participants ages seventeen and up. Pre-registration is required and only people who have registered will be provided the Zoom web link, meeting ID and password information.
Students in Pardue’s class, will need to have materials ready the day of class including: a small spool of size b nymo thread (or thread of your choice) white or neutral color thread, size 11 short beading needle, embroidery scissor, a sharp pencil, 8 porcupine quills, all the same or approximately the same in thickness and length (June prefers quills not to be too thick, but not really thin either and recommends students order porcupine quills from Moscow Hide and Fur from Moscow, Idaho by calling (208) 882-0601); four ¼ inch wide and 1 inch long strips of brain tanned deer hide, moose hide, or sturdy felt in color of your choice (if using sturdy felt, you should back it with brown grocery bag while beading); two earring hooks; size 11 seed beads (June uses two colors and her choices will be green and metallic brown. She recommends Shipwreck Beads 1-800-950-4230); a small ruler; a bowl filled with warm water for softening porcupine quills, and a styrofoam strip 1” by 2” wide.
Residents of Sitka signing up for Pardue’s earring making class may opt to purchase a kit of the required materials already put together directly from June starting July 24th. If interested in purchasing a kit from June, please plan to come to the museum Wednesday through Saturday between 12pm and 4pm with cash or a check for $25 made out to June Pardue to cover the cost.
This year’s Alaska Native Artist Residency Program is made possible with an Art Works II Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and with support from the Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum, Alaska Airlines, and private donations.
As of July 8th, walk-in visitors will be welcome to visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum Wednesday through Saturday between 12pm and 4pm. Admission fees for adults is $5, $4 for ages 65+, and free for youth 18 and under or for Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum or Alaska State Museum members. The public should continue to pay by credit card. The Sheldon Jackson Museum is compliant with State mandates pertaining to Alaska State Libraries, Archives and Museums. For more information on COVID-19 health mandates and advisories, please visit
People with questions about the Alaska Native Artist Residency Program, artist-led Zoom classes, art class materials, or operating hours and admission fees may call the museum directly at (907) 747-8981.