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Athabascan Artist Revives Traditional Materials with Fish Skin Workshop


ANCHORAGE, AK (July 19, 2013) – Alaska Native Arts Foundation (ANAF) in partnership with Native(X) headquartered in New York City and Alaska Native Heritage Center are conducting a workshop, Expand Your Vision: Fish Skin Workshop with Athabascan artist, Joel Isaak.

This one-day workshop is on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The six artists selected to participate in the workshop are: Eva Bryant (Yup’ik), Cheryl Lacy (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq), Eve Mendenhall (Inupiat), Drew Michael (Inupiat/Yup’ik) Jolene Petticrew (Aleut) and Janelle Matz.

Instructor, Joel Isaak, is a Kenaitze Indian Tribe member from the Dena’ina region in South Central Alaska. Joel combines Native materials and process with modern industrial processes. Through mixed media, including: paintings, glass work, bronze casting, wood working, hide and skin work and atmospheric fired ceramics, he strives to communicate and explore some of the issues that arise as a result of the impact of western civilization upon Alaska Native cultures.

"We are excited to partner with Native(X) and Alaska Native Heritage Center to revive this traditional medium through this workshop," said Trina Landlord, Executive Director of the Alaska Native Arts Foundation. "This art form is becoming a popular medium to work with, especially on European fashion runways.”

Mac Bishop, founder of Native(X) said, “Working with an established, well respected organization like Alaskan Native Arts Foundation has been a pleasure and we're thrilled to be a part of Alaskans learning a historic, yet budding art form. We're looking forward to spreading the beauty of Alaskan art with our friends and customers across the globe.”

Alaska Native Heritage Center President, Annette Evans Smith said, “Through collaborations like this one there is endless potential to both protect and advance Alaska Native art forms.  If we are intentional about we protect and pass on, we will be able to carry our cultural knowledge for generations to come.”

The public will be able to view the outcomes of this Fish Skin Workshop in an exhibit for First Friday downtown artwalk during the month of September 2013 at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation in downtown Anchorage. 

Alaska Native Arts Foundation mission is to serve as an economic development organization focused on building markets for Native art. ANAF’s mission is to improve the economic well being of Alaska Native artists in their home communities.

Native(X) works with Native American artists to help tell their stories and market their designs online. Alaska Native Heritage Center’s mission are sharing, perpetuating and preserving the unique Alaska Native cultures, languages, traditions and values through celebration and education. 

For more information, please email: trina@alaskanativearts.org or call 907-258-2623 or cell: 907-227-4189 at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation.


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