We are pleased to announce the selection of the Alaska Native artists for this year’s Alaska Native Artist Residency Program at the Sheldon Jackson Museum. Selected from a pool of applicants, these artists will come to the museum from all over the state to share their art forms and culture over the course of four months.

Between July and October, the Sheldon Jackson Museum Alaska Native artists-in-residence will work in the museum gallery, provide free hands-on classes teaching their art forms, give lectures, and provide the museum with material culture consultations on artifacts. Artists-in-residence will connect the general public to their culture(s) through creation of art in an open studio-like format. Visitors will have opportunities to engage with artists and learn about Alaska Native traditions, art forms, artists’ techniques, and sources of inspiration.

Artists-in-residence will receive an artist stipend for their work, lodging, and travel to and from Sitka, and will have a variety of opportunities to study the museum’s permanent collection and educate staff through “cultural consultations.” As part of their residency, artists have scheduled time to study artifacts on exhibit and in collections storage. Through the study of artifacts at the museum, artists have an invaluable opportunity to examine material culture created by their ancestors. The benefits of this study time extend to the museum staff who gain priceless insight into artifacts as the artists share their knowledge and observations. The indispensable information captured in these cultural consultations is recorded in museum records, adding to the knowledge of present-day staff and members of the public and to future generations of museum goers, researchers, artists, and Sheldon Jackson Museum staff.

This summer, the Alaska Native Artist Residency Program will include the following three artists:

  • Eechdaa Dave Ketah, Tlingit carver, drum maker and painter (July 8-30)
  • Percy Avugiak, Inupiaq/Yup’ik painter, mask maker, and carver (Aug. 19-Sept. 10)
  • Debra Dzijuksuk O’Gara, Tlingit, Yup’ik, Irish ravenstail and Chilkat weaver (Sept. 16-Oct. 9)

In addition to creating art at the museum and studying the permanent collection, resident artists will also hold lectures and hands-on-classes. The talks and classes will likely be held in-person but may also be on Zoom.  Additional information on artist talks and classes will be released later this summer.

The Native Artist Residency Program is made possible through the support of the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum and private donations.

Summer hours at the Sheldon Jackson Museum are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Monday through Saturday, except holidays. Summer admission is $9 for adults and $8 for seniors. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. Assistance is available for visitors with special needs. For more information on operations or events, contact the museum by calling (907) 747-8981.