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Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas (Fish Head Soup) Comics & Shared Universe, Artist in Residence, March 2023

Bunnell Street Arts Center welcomes Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas (Fish Head Soup) Comics & Shared Universe, a group of Alaskan comic book creators from March 3rd – 6th

“Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas (an Ahtna phrase for fish head soup) represents our deep knowledge of Alaska as well as our humble collaborative goals as a collective. Our mission is to create, promote and distribute exciting comic book stories/New media/fashion exemplifying the rich regional cultures of Alaska in ways that both honor the heritage and forge new concepts to bridge the past with the future.”

Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas artists are Nathan Shafer, Richard Perry, Melissa Shaginoff, Dimi Macheras, Casey Silver and David Brame. The group will gather for the first time post-pandemic to develop new work, share current projects, and consider how they can support other creators to tell new stories that construct stories for an Alaskan audience with inclusion, experimentation, and collaboration.

Outreach Activities 

  • Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas member David Brame also has an exhibit at Bunnell during the month of March. Join David Brame at Bunnell Street Arts Center on March 3, 5-7pm with an Artist Talk at 6pm.
  • Fish Head Soup creators Dimi Macheras and Casey Silver from 80% Studios are back for an IN-PERSON comic book workshop at Homer Public Library on Saturday, March 4th, 3:30 – 5pm for youth, ages 10 and up. The creators of Chickaloonies, a graphic novel that incorporates Native Alaskan stories, storytelling and art, will present a 90 minute interactive workshop on storytelling and comic drawing. Learn to think visually and express your inner storyteller, while learning about themes and values of traditional Native Alaskan culture.
  • Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas creators offer an artist panel and book signing on Saturday March 4th at 7pm at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Artists will discuss their collaborative universe, how they write stories and use a cultural advisory process, and upcoming projects. Melissa Shaginoff and Dimi Macheras (Chickaloon Tribe) share about their recent trip to the Smithsonian. Nathan Shafer shares copies of his newly released books Wintermoot Volume 6 and Goodnight Naruto Runners.

 

Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas creators biographies

Casey Silver has spent his life discovering, creating and telling stories. A writer, artist and designer based in Seattle, WA, Casey has created graphic content for Image Comics, Dynamite Publishing and Z2 comics as well as creating his own visual entertainment with 80% Studios co-founder, Dimi Macheras.

Dimi Macheras is a comic book artist and Ahtna Tribal citizen of Chickaloon Village from Alaska. He began his career working for his Tribe’s education department designing language curriculum and children’s story books. In 2010 he co-founded the Seattle-based 80% Studios which have published multiple comic books and graphic novels; the latest release being the all-new, all-ages Ahtna Athabascan Tribal Adventure “Chickaloonies”. He teaches storytelling workshops with 80% Studios co-founder, Casey Silver and leads high school art student mural creation residences. He was the recipient of the NDN Radical Imagination grant in 2022. Dimi is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution to help create Ahtna Cultural learning materials based on their museum collections as well as drawing the second book of the “Chickaloonies” series .

Melissa Shaginoff is Ahtna and Paiute from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, AK). She is an artist, a curator, and Auntie. Her work is shaped by the framework and intricacies of Ahtna ceremony and clan systems. Melissa utilizes visiting in her art practice, searching for deeper understanding through moments of exchange and reciprocity. Melissa curates and operates the Kuzuundze’ ts’eghaanden (the place where we make/destroy pretty things) Gallery. It is a teaching gallery supporting Indigenous Elders, youth, and emerging artists interested in developing their exhibition readiness. Melissa’s work also involves reclaiming power in of her ancestral homelands through movements of Land Back and community workshops that eclipse Land Acknowledgements requiring settler reflection, interrogation, and labor. Melissa received a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award in 2021 and was a Nia Tero PNW Artist Fellow in 2022.

Richard Perry (Yup’ik/Gwich’in) is a writer, journalist, and photographer. He is a contributing writer for First Alaskans Magazine, Indian Country Today, and Anchorage Press and author of a comic called The Wildmen of Denali which is currently being illustrated.

Nathan Shafer is a new media artist, author and special education teacher from Alaska. He is one of the founding members of both the Meme-Rider Media Team, an art collective founded in 2000 designing early form internet memes, and Manifest.AR, the first International art collective making mobile augmented reality works. His current work is called Wintermoot, an augmented Alaskan comic book for which he has received a Creative Capital award in 2020.

An afrofuturist and scholar, David Brame is from Charleston, South Carolina and moved to Homer in 2019. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from University of Cincinnati and subsequently taught at Toronto’s Ryerson University’s School of Fashion as an illustration professor. David is an nationally recognized afro-futurist, educator, comic creator, and illustrator. He is dedicated to equity and equality in the arts and happy to contribute to the stewardship of Alaskan arts and artisans. His graphic novel After the Rain that adapts a Nnedi Okorafor short story is nominated for a 2022 Eisner Award.

This residency is supported by the National Performance Network through a grant to support “experimentation around new practices/program models for more sustainable, ethical, and transparent ways of engaging artists.” This project seeks to further a mutual-aid and anti-hierarchical approach to programming, fiscal sponsorship, and financial transparency between an artist collective and an arts organization. This anti-hierarchical structure extends the work of the Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas artist-collective in their goal to create projects that are built on greater collaboration with communities as they imagine a way of telling stories that builds inclusion into the creative process. They create spaces and formats where Alaskan audiences can participate in the creation of the work the group is producing. Further,  the work of Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas to empower regional oversight councils consisting of elder and youth culture bearers that operate in an editorial capacity for a particular region’s values and representation.

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Bunnell’s residency program  is made possible with funding by Rasmuson Foundation through the Harper Arts Touring Fund administered by the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Bunnell Street Arts Center’s Artist in Residence (AIR) features Alaska, national and international artists for residencies of varying lengths, from one week to one month. The program has evolved with support from McKnight Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, US Artists, Homer Foundation, ArtPlace America, the National Performance Network, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Today, it is primarily supported by private donors, foundation grants, and application fees.

Bunnell Street Arts Center’s mission is to spark artistic inquiry, innovation and equity to strengthen the physical, social and economic fabric of Alaska.

Exhibit Artist Talk by David Brame : March 3, 6pm @ Bunnell Street Arts Center

Comic Book Interactive Workshop by 80% Studios: March 4, 3:30 – 5pm, @ Homer Public Library for youth, 10 and up. No registration required.

Łuk’ae Tse’ Taas Book Signing and Artist Panel: March 4th, 7pm, @ Bunnell Street Arts Center, free.

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