SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Rasmuson Foundation announces 2018 Individual Artist Awards in Southeast Alaska


May 18, 2018
Friday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation has named 35 artists in 12 Alaska communities as Individual Artist Award recipients for 2018 including 13 from Southeast Alaska. The Southeast group includes 10 Project Award recipients and three Fellows picked from a statewide pool of nearly 400 applicants.

Alaska Airlines - Pack More For Less

Alaska Travelers Accommodations, LLC - Ketchikan, Alaska

Painter Mary Ida Henrikson of Ward Cove (Ketchikan area), multimedia artist Nicholas Galanin of Sitka and filmmaker Susan Stark Christianson of Juneau are the Fellowship recipients for Southeast.

Fellowships of $18,000 are awarded to mid-career and mature artists to focus their energy and attention on developing creative work over a 12- month period.

Project Awards are going to master weaver Delores Churchill of Ketchikan; performance artist Roblin Gray Davis, carver Alison Marks and weaver Ricky Tagaban, of Juneau; writers Merry C. Ellefson and Emily Wall, of Douglas; carver Robert Mills of Kake; carver Glenn “Stormy” Hamar of Kasaan; and composer Zak Dylan Wass and clothing designer Peter Williams, both of Sitka.

Project Awards of $7,500 support individuals at all stages of their creative careers for specific, short-term projects.

Four Southeast artists are prior recipients. Davis and Tagaban also received Project Awards in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Churchill was selected as the Rasmuson Foundation Distinguished Artist in 2006 in recognition of her lifetime of achievement as a weaver. Galanin’s 2018 Fellowship is his fourth Individual Artist Award after Fellowships in 2008 and 2014 and a Project Award in 2011.

This year’s Fellows have ambitious projects before them.

Christianson will use her Fellowship to collaborate with KTOO on a new film that follows up on her previous documentary, “The Wisdom of the Grandmothers.” She will interview indigenous elders in Alaska, the Lower 48 and Canada, with a focus on the meaning of traditional prophesy stories and their relevance to today’s world. She is passionate about capturing and sharing the knowledge of tribal elders before it is lost.

Henrikson will use the Tongass National Forest for inspiration in creating at least 20 new oil paintings, experimenting with textures and techniques that she has developed over her long career. “Southeast Alaska is my palette and format,” Henrikson writes. “I've found that doing a series of paintings on a concept bursts into another realm.”

Galanin will use his Fellowship to purchase and fabricate the equipment and custom tools needed to create a large body of sculptural copper work using traditional Tlingit chasing and repoussť metalworking techniques. This sculptural copper practice is rare today. His work will involve study of historical form and process, and training of several apprentices.

“Using indigenous and non-indigenous technologies and materials I resist romanization, categorization and limitation,” he writes. “I use my work to explore adaptation, resilience, survival, active cultural amnesia, dream, memory, cultural resurgence, connection to and disconnection from the land.”

These recipients join the Foundation’s 2018 Distinguished Artist, Alvin Amason of Anchorage and Kodiak Island, who was announced earlier. Artist project profiles also are available on the Foundation’s 2018 IAA webpage and Distinguished Artist webpage, two new features launched this week. Photos and videos of the artists and their work are available by request and can be downloaded from Rasmuson Foundation’s IAA Google Photo album.


On the Web:

2018 Individual Artist Awards: Recipients of Fellowship Awards

2018 Individual Artist Awards: Recipients of Project Awards



Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Rasmuson Foundation



Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


Submit A Letter to SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2018
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.