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Sealaska Heritage Institute will open its sixth, biennial Juried Art Show on Wednesday and announce the winners of its biennial Native art competition.

The awards ceremony is scheduled 4:30-7 pm, Wednesday, June 6, at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The show will run through June 30. Winners will receive prizes in the following categories:

Best of Show: $1,500;
Northwest Coast Art: $1,000—1st Place, $750—2nd Place. $500—3rd Place; and,
Northwest Coast Inspired Customary Art: $1,000—1st Place, $750—2nd Place. $500—3rd Place.

Jurors will be Tlingit Nathan Jackson, a world-renowned artist, and Peter Corey, a scholar in Northwest Coast arts who was curator of the Sheldon Jackson Museum until his recent retirement.

The categories, Northwest Coast customary art and Northwest Coast inspired customary art, were formerly known as traditional and contemporary respectively in past competitions. The categories were changed by the institute’s Native Artist Committee, which gives guidance on SHI’s art programs, and includes Jackson, Steve Brown, Delores Churchill, and Nicholas Galanin.

"They decided that the more appropriate term would be customary. It’s customary art. And then they moved on to say "Northwest Coast inspired customary art" to reflect the changes in our art tradition," said SHI President Rosita Worl.

SHI founded the competition in 2002 to promote the development of Southeast Alaska Native arts. The goals of the Juried Art Show are:

-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.

To ensure an objective judging process, the names of the artists were not included with the photos of objects viewed during selection.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

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