Brian Wallace/Courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute
Celebration will include a Juried Art Show and Competition for Northwest Coast art. This year’s show will also include an “Exemplary Exhibit” featuring pieces made by some of the best Northwest Coast artists alive today.

Youth and Northwest Art Showcased at Sealaska Celebration Awards

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will open its eighth, biennial Juried Art Show this week and give awards in five divisions. For the first time, the show will include a display of exemplary works by some of the most acclaimed Northwest Coast artists alive today. The institute also will give awards to participants of its new Juried Art Youth Exhibit during the ceremony, held during Celebration 2016.

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The Juried Art Show will include 36 pieces by 22 artists. Winners will receive prizes in the following categories:

Carving and sculpture, which includes categories for wood, metal and other media carvings; sewing, which includes categories for skin and fur, beadwork and button blankets; weaving, which includes categories for Chilkat, Ravenstail and basketry; two-dimensional and relief carving, which includes categories for paintings, drawings and relief carving.

Artists who win Best of Category will compete for Best of Division, and the division winners will compete for the Best of Show prize. SHI also will award a Best Formline prize for the best formline design among all pieces submitted.

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.

The theme for the Juried Art Show and Competition is “Art and At.óow.” The awards ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday June 8 at the Walter Soboleff Building, and the show will be on exhibit immediately after the ceremony through September 30 in the Nathan Jackson Gallery.

The pieces in the new “Exemplary Works” exhibit were made by artists who were chosen to make the three monumental art pieces for the Walter Soboleff Building and two of the Northwest Coast art experts who serve on SHI’s Native Artist Committee. 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 “Exemplary Works” exhibit also will be shown in the Nathan Jackson Gallery.

The Juried Youth Art Exhibit will showcase 35 pieces and include 34 objects made by 28 individual young artists and one artwork that was made by 61 sixth-grade students from Dzantik’I Heeni Middle School. The Sealaska Heritage Institute will award $350 for first place and $200 for second place for competitors in middle school. The institute will award $500 for first place, $350 for second place and $200 for third place for competitors in high school. The funds will go to the school or organization identified by the winners that gave them instruction in Northwest Coast art. Individuals or groups that sponsor the show will be invited to hand out prizes in the divisions they supported. All youth chosen to exhibit will receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt and winners also will receive a certificate.

The competition was open to all youth in grades six through 12. The youth exhibit will open on June 3 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center and run through June 30.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. 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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