Sunday, May 17, 2009

PA Arts Sunday - 2009 Rasmuson Artist Awards

Late Thursday afternoon I was sitting with Anne Aube at Fireside Books in Palmer. We've been friends for a long time. We talked about music, her family, some of our mutual friends and what she and her husband are contemplating for their future. She knew, but I didn't, that she would be honored the next morning with a Rasmuson Foundation artist award.

Friday the important Alaska foundation announced their 2009 individual artist awards, grants and fellowships. Anne's award:

Anne Aube, a visual artist from Palmer will receive $4,925 to promote her work and visit textile museums in Tokyo.

Anne Aube was one of 26 Alaska artists to obtain this help in their visions. This year's Distinguished Artist Award recipient was Nathan Jackson. His Tlingit wood creations are among Alaska's strongest examples of the resilience and resurgence of his culture's fine art.

The foundation's press release on the 2009 awards said this about Nathan Jackson's work:

Since 1967, he has been creating masks, panels, house posts, totem poles and jewelry using traditional Tlingit Northwest Coast formline design in his own unique style. In 1988 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Alaska; and in 1995 was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award. His work is in museums and private collections around the world. He currently resides in Ketchikan.

This description of wood Jackson gave for a Southeast Alaska brochure shows his love for where the materials for his art come from:

As a carving artist, the first thing I notice in my surroundings is the wood. Depending on where you are, the wood is very different. For totem poles and larger projects, red cedar is the choice wood and is called the tree of life. Yellow cedar has straight grain, and is ideal for smaller projects. There is plenty of alder, a leaf tree that I use for masks and bowls, even hats.

Here's a sketch of Jackson's work
, with pictures of parts of some of his totem poles.

Here's the Rasmuson Foundation's 2009 award press release.

Here's the flickr page with images of work by several of the recipients.

images - Rasmuson Foundation

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