This series explores ways that artists are responding, innovating and adapting during COVID-19, the climate crisis, this huge recession and the current human rights movement. Our world is shaking, in transformation…How do artists create agency in challenging times? Join the conversation, Fridays (11-noon) via Zoom.
“We were not discovered. How should Captain Cook be remembered?” Join us on July 10, 11-noon, with guests Da-Ka-Xeen Mehner and Melissa Shaginoff.
*Register in advance here.
Born in Fairbanks, Alaska to a Tlingit/N’ishga Mother and Hippy/American father, Da-ka-xeen Mehner uses the tools of family ancestry and personal history to build his art. his work stems from an examination of a multicultural heritage and social expectations and definitions. In particular his work has focused on the constructs of Native American identity, and an attempt to define the Self outside of these constructs. Mehner has received a number of awards for his work including a 2015 USA Rasmuson fellowship, a 2015 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, and a 2014 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Artist Fellowship.
Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village). Melissa is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist and currently the curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries. Within her current curatorial work, Melissa has focused intently on potlatching. She believes that the only future in which institutions embody Indigenous ideologies is one that publicly recognizes its power, and autonomously gives it away. Melissa has participated the Island Mountain Arts Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, British Columbia as well as the Sheldon Jackson Museum Artist Residency in Sitka, Alaska. She has been published in First American Art Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Learning Lab page. She is currently working on a year long project revolved around social engagement and conversation as art practice.
Kima & Dasha Kelly Hamilton
What does it mean to design Social Justice? July 3, featured guests Kima and Dasha Kelly Hamilton.
Kima is a facilitator, DJ and social justice engineer. From Pennsylvania to Georgia to Alaska to Wisconsin, he has shaped his engineering skills and artistic talents into a signature work as a convener, counselor and ARTivist. Kima as traveled as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, India and Mexico. He has led writing workshops and wellness dialogues with school systems, social agencies, and correctional facilities. Kima leads discussion and healing circles for men with the Alma Center and is an on-air personality with Radio Milwaukee.
Dasha is a facilitator, writer and creative change agent. She is a widely-respected educator, culture producer, and founder of Still Waters Collective, an arts outreach organization committed to building community, capacity and confidences. She worked as a public relations account executive for several PR agencies and director of a citywide youth program for the YMCA. Dasha has, since, gone on to serve as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana, Canada, Lebanon and the island of Mauritius.
Mariah Maloney, Maura García and Becky Kendall
Friday, June 26, 2020, featured guest dancers: Mariah Maloney, Maura García and Becky Kendall
Originally from Homer, Mariah Maloney is a New York-based dance artist located in Brooklyn and Brockport, New York. Mariah Maloney Dance formed in 2003 and today the company is invited to perform, teach and create new work in New York, throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.
Maura García (non-enrolled Cherokee/ Mattamuskeet) is a dance artist who creates contemporary Indigenous performance to form connections, empower cultural values, explore the rhythms of the natural world. Maura’s artistic creations reflect the power of stories to form and change our realities. Through narrative-driven choreography and beat-embracing movement.
Becky Kendall is a choreographer, performer, and educator based in Anchorage. Creating work for a stage, a park, or a rooftop, she is inspired to connect to people in new ways and in nontraditional environments After returning home to Anchorage, Becky founded Momentum Dance Collective with 6 fellow artists in 2008 and continues to serve as Artistic Director.
Nathan Shafer & Melissa Shaginoff
Friday, June 19, featured guests Nathan Shafer and Melissa Shaginoff. Nathan Shafer is a new media artist from Alaska specializing in augmented reality and digital humanities. He is one of the founding members of both the Meme-Rider Media Team and Manifest.AR. He was profiled by PBS Digital Studios as part of an online collaboration called The Future in 2014. Shafer’s geobased AR works have been displayed on every continent in multiple venues across the world. He contributed chapters to Augmented Reality Art, Augmented Reality Games II, and Augmented Reality in Education, in 2020. He received a Creative Capital award in 2020 for Wintermoot.
Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village). Melissa is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist and currently the curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries. Within her current curatorial work, Melissa has focused intently on potlatching. She believes that the only future in which institutions embody Indigenous ideologies is one that publicly recognizes its power, and autonomously gives it away. Melissa has participated the Island Mountain Arts Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, British Columbia as well as the Sheldon Jackson Museum Artist Residency in Sitka, Alaska. She has been published in First American Art Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Learning Lab page. Her artwork is collected by the Institute of American Indian Arts, the Palmer Museum and the Pratt Museum. Melissa is also a part of the N-Collective, a new media group focusing on transparent and accurate representation of Indigenous experiences in fiction and science-fiction content. Melissa was selected for the Skövde Musuem’s AiRs International Artist Residency in Skövde, Sweden, she is currently working on a year long project revolved around social engagement and conversation as art practice.
Kat Moore & Tim Easton
Friday, June 12, featured guests Kat Moore and Tim Easton.
Kat Moore, multi-instrumentalist and creative force known as The Forest That Never Sleeps, weaves a sonic tapestry with her compositions. Kat lives and teaches music in Anchorage.
Tim Easton is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter playing rock and roll, folk and Americana music. He tours extensively and often plays in Alaska. Tim is based in Nashville.
Tamara Wilson & Jimmy Riordan
June 5, 2020, featured guests Tamara Wilson and Jimmy Riordan. Tamara Wilson is a Fairbanks-based artist and creator of The Lemonade Stand, a mobile exhibit space with the mission to grow and connect creative community. Jimmy Riordan is an artist and educator living in Anchorage. He is currently working on the Alaska Bookmobile Project, bringing a 20 year old bookmobile out of retirement and re-imagining its role as a mobile library, community venue and art space in its new home of Anchorage.
Listen to past recorded conversations from our previous series, “Inspiration in Isolation.”