Alaska Native Arts Showcase

Salmon skin and otter fur coat by June Pardue. Photo by Tanner Croft.

On Feb. 23, two galleries showed off Alaskan Native art exhibits. These showings happened simultaneously in two different locations on campus.

At the Arc Gallery in the Consortium Library, students from June Pardue’s Alaska Native Art class had the chance to put some of their creations on display.

Among the student-crafted pieces were a pair of beaded headdresses, several snow goggle variations, a selection of masks, beadwork jewelry and weavings, as well as a few other items.

This exhibit, and the Alaska Native Art class as a whole, allow students with Alaska Native heritage to express their cultural history in an artistic way that also shows the adaptability and functionality that art can have. The Alaska Native Art class teaches Alaska Native culture and artistic styles. The class is open to anyone who shows interest and a desire to learn — regardless of whether or not they are of Alaska Native descent.

In addition to the student-crafted artwork on display, Pardue had her own work on display at the Kimura Gallery in the Fine Arts Building.

Pardue’s exhibit included works from other local artists. Some of the pieces shown included salmon skin and leather mukluks, a selection of hats crafted from furs — including otter, ermine and beaver furs — model kayaks from various artists, knives, beaded headdresses, slippers and a coat made from salmon skin and otter fur.

Both galleries showcased the versatility of Alaska Native artwork. Each item was beautifully crafted and entirely functional for aspects of survival or ceremony.

Each of these exhibits will be on display for a limited time only. The student exhibit will be available for viewing until April 19 at the Arc Gallery. Pardue’s exhibit “Sugpiaq Art Renaissance” will be on display until April 5 at the Kimura Gallery.