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First Friday: Decolonizing Alaska
August 5, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
As the world’s attention shifts to the shrinking polar ice cap and the future of our planet, Alaska’s place in the world has moved from the fringe to the center. The effects of colonization, from climate change to cultural survival, have pushed Alaska to the forefront of global conversations.
“Decolonizing Alaska explores how 30 diverse contemporary Alaska artists challenge colonization through a confluence of indigenous, global, traditional and contemporary concepts, technologies and media. In a global context of cultural change and hybridity, artists call for museum practices to chart new paths for the curation and presentation of indigenous technologies. It’s time to empower artists as the central theorists, the primary producers of representation. The challenge is not left to Alaskan Native artists alone. Excluding non-Native artists from the conversation only perpetuates colonization. The impact of the debate and the effort to resist colonization will be as big as the span of its engagement,” –Asia Freeman, Curator
Decolonizing Alaska goes on tour after Homer :
Valdez Museum and Historical Archive (9/16/16-10/23/16
The Corcoran School of Art and Design, in Washington D.C, (2/3/17-3/25/16)
The Alaska State Museum (5/5/17-10/15/17)
The Alaska Humanities Forum (11/17)
Events at Bunnell Street Arts Center:
August 5, 3:30 pm private reception for Decolonizing artists and sponsors
August 5, 5 pm public reception, artist talk, 6 pm
August 15, 3-7 pm Objects of Importance, a workshop at Bunnell with Melissa Shaginoff Inspired by the traditional Ahtna, Athabascan Kaggkaggos ts’en zuuł (Swan Wingbone/Drinking Tube) this intergenerational workshop for ages 13 and up investigates self-portraiture when considering objects that represent and protect our power in a contemporary sense. This workshop and a similar workshop by Shaginoff at Valdez Museum is sponsored by The CIRI Foundation. A Journey to What Matters. Register at www.bunnellarts.org (Here we should have a link directly to register for the workshop)
August 24-30 School Tours, Teacher’s workshop TBA
Decolonizing Alaska is accompanied by a color catalog of all artwork, artist statements, curatorial essays and outreach activities associated with the exhibition and a Study Guide for teachers and students. Visit the exhibit with youth. Delve into the art works’ meaning with a guided Q & A. Artists speak for themselves about complex issues concerning identity, power and representation. Some of the wording and themes are challenging. Explore quotes from the curator and artists to deepen the discussion. Select the questions most pertinent to students’ range of age and experience. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule school group tours.
Decolonizing Alaska is sponsored by Bunnell Street Arts Center, curated by Asia Freeman and supported in part by grants from ArtWorks, The CIRI Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation with additional support from the exhibit venues and Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund, administered, under contract, by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.
Major support comes from Bunnell Street Arts Center and Valdez Museum and Historical Archive, with grants from Rasmuson Foundation, CIRI Foundation, Alaska State Council on the Arts and NEA/ArtWorks.