Vision: Juneau as Northwest Coast Capital of the World
(Brochure) (Blog) Northwest Coast art occupies an important position in America’s artistic traditions and cultural history. Most importantly, it plays a significant role in maintaining the cultural diversity of the nation and the cultural survival of the region’s indigenous populations. Like jazz music, which was designated a national treasure by Congress in 1987, NWC art should be designated a national treasure of the United States.
SHI’s quest to establish the Northwest Coast Arts Capital began with the construction of the Walter Soboleff Building that is in itself a work of art, and is adorned with monumental art pieces by three master indigenous artists of international acclaim. The creation of the NWC Arts Capital ensures the survival of NWC arts, providing untold sustainable social and economic benefits to the region and state. SHI’s NWC Arts Capital plan includes the following programs and initiatives:
- Training new NWC artists
- Teaching NWC art in schools
- Ensuring excellence of NWC art formline
- Educating the public about NWC art
- Expanding the NWC art market
- Integrating NWC art in public places
- Designating NWC art as a national treasure
- Protecting clan crest ownership
Sharing Our Box of Treasures
Through Sharing Our Box of Treasures, Sealaska Heritage, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and partner communities—Klawock, Hoonah and Juneau—will teach Northwest Coast (NWC) art, the world-renowned legacy of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. The program is part of SHI’s effort to make Juneau the NWC arts capital of the world, to galvanize the region’s economy and to designate NWC art as a national treasure.
Through the program, partners will develop a two-year associate’s degree program in NWC art at UAS and award scholarships to applicants; expand the Juneau Fine Arts Career Pathway program to include a focus on NWC art and field-test courses in four high schools in partner communities; increase current retention rates and academic performance in math of Alaska Native high school students by integrating NWC art into math courses; document development and implementation of NWC art and culture programs at UAS and SHI; and produce a sustainability plan for the next phase of expansion.
The program, in part, builds on SHI’s effort to teach math concepts to Alaska Native students through ancient NWC art practices. The institute has partnered with national leaders in the field in recent years and successfully taught difficult math concepts through art practices such as weaving and carving. Sharing Our Box of Treasures also supports a recent agreement between SHI, UAS and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to establish a four-year NWC art program. Funded through a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Education Program.
SHI seeking evaluator
(Full Description) SHI is seeking proposals from a qualified consultant or consultants interested in evaluating SHI’s Sharing Our Box of Treasures—Northwest Coast Art Program. The successful candidate will have:
- experience as program evaluator and author of evaluation reports;
- demonstrated knowledge and use of appropriate evaluation tools;
- best practices for evaluation implementation and analysis and reporting of collected data;
- and knowledge of Alaska Native culture and education.
To apply, submit a proposal to Mary Richey at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2018.
Artist in Residence
(Application) SHI operates an artist-in-residence program at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau. The purpose of the program is to encourage study of Northwest Coast art practices. Artists in residence may choose from two dedicated spaces on the main floor: the Delores Churchill Artist-In-Residence Studio and the monumental art space, a dedicated area for artists creating large-size Northwest Coast art pieces. The program provides artists with the dedicated work areas and access to the institute's archives, library and ethnographic and art collections for study. Artists must apply for the residency and commit to a minimum of two weeks.
Juried Art Show and Competition
- To encourage and enhance the creation and production of Southeast Alaska Native objects of artistic value which have fallen into disuse and are becoming rare
- To stimulate and enhance the quality of artistic work among our Native artisans
- To encourage the development of new forms of art of purely Southeast Alaska Native form and design
SHI will award prizes in six divisions: Carving and sculpture (wood and metal carvings and sculptures); sewing (skin and fur, beadwork and other); weaving (Chilkat, Ravenstail and basketry); two-dimensional (paintings, drawings and prints); and endangered art (spruce-root weaving and mountain goat horn spoon carving).
Juried Youth Art Exhibit
(Apply) Celebration will include SHI’s second biennial youth exhibit of Northwest Coast art in an effort to increase the number of young artists making high quality pieces and to share their work with the public. Cash awards will be made to schools of the winners for art supplies to be used by schools or organizations for future instruction in Northwest Coast art. All youth chosen to exhibit will receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt and winners also will receive a certificate. The competition is open to all youth in grades 6-12. Winners will be announced on June 6 in conjunction with the Juried Art Show award ceremony, and the exhibit will run June 1–30, 2018, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.
First Friday: SHI Seeking Artists
(Register) Sealaska Heritage and the Sealaska Heritage Store participate in Juneau’s First Friday, a monthly celebration of the arts. We provide space for artists to demonstrate and sell their work in the Walter Soboleff Building. First Friday events occur from 4:30-8:00pm on the first Friday of each month. SHI’s waives our usual $5 fee for admission into the exhibit and Shuká Hít (clan house) and we plan to have performing artists in Shuká Hít during these events. We expect a steady stream of visitors coming through. Artists who want to participate must register with SHI.
Northwest Coast Art Markets
Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsors a major Northwest Coast Art Market during Celebration, a major dance-and-culture festival. SHI also sponsors art markets in conjunction with various programs. And, SHI recruits artists to participate in First Friday every month and Gallery Walk in December (register for First Friday and Gallery Walk) . SHI also operates the Sealaska Heritage Store and frequently seeks quality Native art to sell. If you are interested in selling arts-and-craft products at wholesale prices or consigning art to SHI, please email a photo, description and wholesale or consignment price to email@example.com.
SHI sponsors art workshops for students of Northwest Coast art practices, such as skin sewing, weaving, carving and formline designs. Check back soon for upcoming workshops.
SHI sponsors mentor-apprentice workshops to perpetuate and revitalize Northwest Coast endangered art traditions, such as spruce-root weaving and dugout canoe carving. The program was fostered at SHI's first Native Artists Gathering, which brought together nearly 30 artists in 2015 who identified the most imperiled Northwest Coast Native art traditions. Check back soon for upcoming apprenticeships.
Northwest Coast Native Artist Database
(Register) Sealaska Heritage encourages Native artists to register to be advised of opportunities such as artist markets; teaching/learning classes including Master/Apprentice teams; 1% for art/Public art notices; grants and funding opportunities and more.