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
SHI sponsors art workshops for students of Northwest Coast art practices, such as skin sewing, weaving, carving and formline designs. Some of our workshops can be viewed online on our YouTube channel (here) and on our Vimeo page (here).
Weekly: Saturday carving workshops, Juneau, Saturdays, Gajaa Hít building
Next: Halibut hook workshop, Anchorage, Aug. 8-11, Alaska Pacific University
(Flyer) This workshop is full. Sealaska Heritage will sponsor a skin-sewing workshop with Jeremiah James in Anchorage. SHI provides a sea otter hide at a $350 value for each participants as well as patterns and supplies. Application fee: $100. Application deadline: May 8.
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.
Next: Special Topics Seminar, Aug. 4-8, UAS Juneau Campus
(Apply) (Flyer) Open to high school and middle school math and art educators teaching in Southeast Alaska. Travel scholarships available. Limited to 15 participants. University credit option. Application deadline: June 28.
Upcoming: Northwest Coast Art and Tlingit Language Classes, UAS Fall Semester, Juneau
(Admissions) (Get an Art Scholarship) (Apply—Tlingit Language) (Apply—Northwest Coast Art) (Apply (non credit)—Tlingit Language and Northwest Coast Art) Sealaska Heritage and UAS are offering several Northwest Coast art classes taught by the award-winning artist Wayne Price for the fall semester. Scholarships are available to help cover costs of art classes in 2019 and 2020!
Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program
SHI began piloting the Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program in 2016, building partnerships in four Southeast Alaska communities with the common goal of exposing Alaska youth to high-quality Northwest Coast art programming and increasing the number of Alaska youth exposed to and familiar with Northwest Coast art forms. Read our blog to see photos of recent program activities in Craig, Juneau, Sitka, and Angoon.
Sealaska Heritage offers scholarships through the Sealaska scholarship program and a partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute for American Indian Arts. Click here to see all scholarships.
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
SHI's biennial Celebration includes a Juried Youth Art 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 are 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 receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt and winners also receive a certificate. The competition is open to all youth in grades 6-12. The exhibit is held in June every even year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Haa Latseen Community Project
(Register) Sealaska Heritage will resume Saturday carving practice sessions with Tlingit artist Donald Gregory on Dec. 15, 2018, from 1-6 pm. Participants must be 18 years or older. Maximum of 12 participants at a time. First come, first served. Some carving tools and wood will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own tools and projects if they have any. Haa Latseen Community Project is a Sealaska Heritage Institute program, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, in partnership with Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority and Lemon Creek Correctional Center, with additional support from the Haa Aani Carving Program, the Juneau Re-entry Coalition, and the City and Borough of Juneau.
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.
(Apply) Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Juneau School District have entered into a partnership to offer Northwest Coast Art opportunities to high school students. We are looking for interested artists to add to a teaching artist roster, which will be used by teachers looking for specialists to join their classrooms. These opportunities could be one class, one semester or whatever fits best for the teacher and artist. For more information contact Mary Richey at email@example.com or 907.586.9257.
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.