New Juneau exhibit features the works of 56 Alaska Native women artists
JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Sealaska Heritage Institute is honoring and celebrating the Alaska Native woman through a new exhibit, “Native Women’s Art: Drawn From the Spirits of Ancestors Within.” Guest curator, Alison Bremner, is an artist by profession and had the pleasure of bringing the exhibit to life choosing 56 Alaska Native women artists to showcase their work using all types of mediums.
“We have a great diverse [variety of] mediums that the artists are working in,” Bremner said. “We have some artists who you’d consider very traditional — traditional Chilkat weaving, traditional Ravenstail weaving — and then we have some artists that are working on what you might call the more contemporary side.”
Bremner said the exhibit title came from a quote by a Tlingit elder and gave artists a lot of freedom to pursue different kinds of art.
“As a curator, I got to approach these phenomenal artists, and give them the title and really leave it up to them,” she said. “Give a lot of trust to the artists who we’re approaching because we know their vision is amazing.”
The space goes beyond just the art. It’s also a reflection of the strength, integrity and resiliency of Alaska Native women and some of the challenges they’ve had to overcome.
“A lot of Alaska Native cultures were matriarchal, they had these very strong and respected women and it wasn’t until the advent of colonization where roles got a little bit blurred,” Bremner said.
Bremner says the space not only provides a purpose and place for history to be displayed, but a chance for others to experience the range of emotions that each piece brings to the table.
“There’s so much joy, so much love, you know, there’s humor. It really runs the whole human experience and I hope that people just really enjoy witnessing that,” she said.
“Native Women’s Art: Drawn From the Spirits of Ancestors Within” is open through December 2023.
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