Lily Hope, winner of the 2023 Marie Darlin Arts and Literature Prize, speaks to a gathering of supporters at a reception hosted by the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Wednesday. (Photo by Laurie Craig)

Lily Hope, winner of the 2023 Marie Darlin Arts and Literature Prize, speaks to a gathering of supporters at a reception hosted by the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Wednesday. (Photo by Laurie Craig)

City museum awards 2023 Marie Darlin Prize to Alaska Native weaver Lily Hope

On Wednesday evening the Juneau-Douglas City Museum hosted a reception celebrating traditional Alaska Native weaver Lily Hope, the 2023 recipient of the Marie Darlin Prize for outstanding creative contributions to “community values and regional identity,” according to museum director Beth Weigel, who made the presentation.

The annual prize awards $5,000 to artists, performers, writers or scholars to use as they choose. The award was established in 2018 by friends and family of long-time city museum volunteer and donor Marie Darlin to recognize her support of the arts.

In Hope’s typically enthusiastic style, she spoke of her preference of weaving side-by-side with others, something many artists eschew so they can create in quiet places.

“Thanks for holding this with us,” Hope said of the award, her weavings and the fibers that are woven. “They are in the hands of many,” she added.

Lily enjoys describing and demonstrating the traditional weaving techniques passed down from her late mother Clarissa Rizal and other famous Alaska Native weavers.

Hope is renowned for her work as an artist of colorful Chilkat formline weavings and distinct black-and-white Raven’s Tail patterns of exacting and precise traditional formats. Conversely, she brightens while speaking about a recent project featuring non-traditional rainbow colors in an ongoing work at Zach Gordon Youth Center called Weaving Our Pride. Hope and the museum collaborated last year in another effort to create and display “For Our Children,” an exhibit showcasing the work of 17 weavers.

Attending the reception Wednesday were several members of Marie Darlin’s family who celebrated Marie’s legacy and prize recipient Lily Hope. Additionally, Amy Skilbred, executive director of the Juneau Community Foundation which manages the Marie Darlin Endowment funds, praised Hope and the family for their ongoing preservation of local arts.

The city museum’s summer-long exhibit “Yéil Koowú Átx’i Khaa Sháade Nákhx’i Yán Sákw Jeeyís: Ravenstail Regalia for Future Leaders” opens on First Friday, May 3, with a reception from 4-7 p.m. The museum is located at 114 W. 4th Street, near the Alaska State Capitol, in Juneau.

The Marie Darlin Arts and Literature Prize is open for nominations for next year’s award until May 3, 2024. For details, see the museum’s web page at www.fojdcm.org.

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