Students from Southeast Alaska recently demonstrated that the arts are alive and well in the region.
Alaska Student Activities Association’s Region V Art Fest took place in Yakutat this year from April 26 to 29, which concluded with a competitive art show held in the gym of Yakutat School.
Approximately 70 students representing 11 schools from across Southeast Alaska participated. This included students from Haines, Mt. Edgecumbe, Craig, Petersburg, Yakutat, Klawock, Kake, Skagway, Pelican, Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé.
JDHS art teacher Jordan Kendall brought the following students: Téa Neilson, Chatham McPherson, and Kaasgéiy Bowers. TMHS art teacher Angela Imboden brought students Caleb Byford, River Carroll, Aubrie Engen, Adeline Harbour, Jade Hicks, Jasmine Louwagie, Hilary Nguyen, Georgia Post, Katelyn Stiles, Keanna Tarver, Clare Snyder, Lelehua Fujimoto Vertido, Hazel Richter, and Kelsie Powers. Imboden also taught the 15-hour Zentangle Workshop.
Each student was enrolled in two 15-hour workshops, taught by other schools’ art teachers or local Yakutat artists. Notable classes Yakutat offered were drum-making with Skip Johnson, bears bread painting with Brittany King, ravenstail weaving with Marry Knutsen and Carol Pate, cake decorating with Lillian Jackson, watercolor with Chelsie Hann, beading with Angel Jackson, moccasin sewing with Reine Pavlik, metal jewelry with Eli Hanlon, and alder spoon carving with Fred Bemis. Petersburg artist Cindi Lagoudakis offered gelatin printing, Haines art teacher Giselle Miller taught encaustics and Klawock art teacher Eva Rowan taught beaded earrings, and Craig art teacher Ronnie Fairbanks taught bentwood boxes.
Miller was awarded the Rick Mill’s Spirit of Artfest Award for putting in the extra effort to honor the best in Southeast Alaska art students. The award for Best Artwork Brought from Home went to Craig senior Amaiya Hansen for a red-cedar carving of Raven and the sun, titled “Robin Hood.” Best of Artwork Created at Art Fest was awarded to Haines’ Marin Hart for her encaustic painting, “Sorrow Smoker”.
Craig senior Laci Lowery took the Kirk Garbisch Award for Creative Excellence with her “Fishin’ Box,” a bentwood tackle box designed to fit in the prow of a canoe, finely painted with contemporary and traditional marine-inspired formline.
According to Heather Ridgway, visual art teacher for Juneau School District, all aspiring high school art students can start preparing now for Art Fest 2024, which is tentatively scheduled in Wrangell. Ridgway added that Art Fest 2025 is currently scheduled to be hosted in Skagway.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at email@example.com.