Eight artists have taken top prizes at Sealaska Heritage Institute’s eighth biennial Juried Art Show and Competition, and five young artists also placed in SHI’s new Youth Juried Art Exhibit.
Tsimshian artist David R. Boxley won the top two awards: Best of Show and Best of Formline for his piece Txaamsem.
“I have worked for a very long time to understand formline,” Boxley told the crowd at the ceremony. “I believe it is the most beautiful thing in the world.”
Tlingit artist Alison Bremner won second place for Best of Formline for her print Cat Lady.
Other winners by division and category:
Carving and Sculpture Division (wood and metal carvings and sculptures): Jennifer Younger won Best of Division and Best of Metal Category for Hungry Sea Lion, and Art (Bugs) Nelson won Best of Wood Category for his Raven Mask.
Sewing Division (skin and fur, beadwork and other): Kandi McGilton won Best of Division and Best of Beadwork Category for Lax’o; Jennie Wheeler won Best of Skin and Fur Category for her piece Sea Otter Coat, and Clarissa Rizal won Best of Sewing “Other” Category for Northwest by Southwest.
Weaving Division (Chilkat, Ravenstail and basketry): Clarissa Rizal won Best of Division and Best of Chilkat Category for her weaving, Chilkat Child; Tiffany Vanderhoop won Best of Ravenstail Category for her weaving, Ravenstail Apron, and Merle Andersen won Best of Basketry Category for Clam Basket.
Two-Dimensional Division (paintings, drawings and prints): David R. Boxley won Best of Division and Best of Painting and Drawing Category for his drum Txaamsem, bring his total number of awards for that piece to four, and Alison Bremner won Best of Print Category for her print Cat Lady, bringing her total number of awards for that piece to two.
The late Malcolm Miller, to whom the 2016 Juried Art Show booklet was dedicated, received an honorable mention for his Northwest Coast bracelet and earrings. Vivian Benson won an honorable mention for her piece Nsipsiip’nsgu, as did Elaine Jack for her piece Octopus Bag.
Other pieces selected for exhibit included Beaver, by Jennifer Younger; The Watchman copper pendant, by Jeffery Sheakley Jr.; Visions of the Spirit World, by Andrew W. Tripp; Bear Spirit, by Andrew W. Tripp; Beaver Dagger, by Andrew W. Tripp; Medicine Man Dance Staff (Íxt’ Shí S’aatí wutsaagáyi), by Archie Cavanaugh Jr., Shaas T’aak; Raven Dance Mask, by Art “Bugs” Nelson; Shaman’s Rattle, by Art “Bugs” Nelson; Fancy Copper, by Mick Beasley; Whale and Diving Raven, by Mick Beasley; Tlingit Mask With Ears, by Mick Beasley; The Traveler, by Alison Bremner; In God We Trust, by Alison Bremner; Hummingbird, by James Johnson; Sisiutl, by James Johnson; Love’s Embrace, by William Gamaas Bolton; Eagle and the Wolf Circling, by Margaret Morris; Dancing with our Ancestor Dance Apron, by Mike Dangeli; Headband, by Elaine Jack; Chilkat Seasons Dance Apron, by Lily Hope; Ravenstail Headdress, by Tiffany Vanderhoop, and Chilkat Killer Whale, by Anna Brown Ehlers.
Jurors were the acclaimed artists Stephen Paul Jackson and Nicholas Galanin. Shgen Doo Tan Robyn Kay George served as juror consultant for the weaving/sewing divisions. Jurors reviewed the pieces blindly, meaning the names of artists who submitted pieces were not disclosed. In total, the Juried Art Show features 36 pieces by 22 artists.
The show also includes an Exemplary Works exhibit featuring pieces made by some of the best Northwest Coast artists alive today. Featured artists include David A. Boxley, Delores Churchill, Robert Davidson, Nathan Jackson and Preston Singletary. The exemplary pieces featured reflect the best of the art form today as learned from the old masters and underscore the institute’s quest to recognize Northwest Coast art as a national treasure.
The Juried Art Show and Exemplary Works exhibit will be on display in the Nathan Jackson Gallery at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau through September 30.