Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Celebration 2016 included an art contest for the youngest of artists, and their works were easily on a par with those of their adult counterparts. The Juried Youth Art Exhibit included 34 objects made by 28 individual young artists, plus one artwork made by 61 sixth-grade students from Dzantik’I Heeni Middle School in Juneau. The group piece, Warrior armor and helmet, won first place in the middle school division, and The Fox by Tessa Williams of Gustavus won second place.
For the high school division, Jeanette Kaleikau-Buxton of Metlakatla won first place for her acrylic on paper, Txaamsem and the Steelhead Salmon; Sky McInturff of Ketchikan won second place for her cedar bark hat, Snail’s Trail; and Faithe Gray of Metlakatla won third place for her bentwood box, Story of My Family.
The following ten artists received honorable mention: Aani Perkins of Sitka, Andrea Cook of Hydaburg, Bianca Adams of Ketchikan, Kathryn Price of Juneau, Jeanette Kaleikau-Buxton of Metlakatla, Victoria Lent of Metlakatla, Angelika DeLeon of Sitka, Shawaan Jackson-Gamble of Kake, Sky McInturff of Ketchikan, Elizabeth Staveland of Juneau and Victoria Lent of Metlakatla.
Staff was thrilled with the number of pieces young artists submitted from across Southeast Alaska and with the quality, especially some of the works made by students in Metlakatla and Ketchikan, said Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl.
“The communities of Metlakatla and Ketchikan should be commended for their dedication to teaching Northwest Coast art and for integrating it into schools,” Worl said. “I want to especially recognize artists John Hudson and Debbie McLavey who teach Native art in those communities. We clearly could see their expertise and guidance reflected in their students’ work.”
Lance Twitchell, a Tlingit artist and formline teacher, served as juror. The competition was open to all youth in grades six through 12. The youth exhibit will be on display at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center through June 30.
Sealaska Heritage Institute promotes cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events, its mission to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.