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PROTECTION: Adaptation and Resistance at Tulsa Living Arts

In times of climate crisis, pandemic, and ongoing assaults to human rights, how are Indigenous Alaska artists today strengthening self and community, and guiding the next generation from surviving to thriving?  Protection: Adaptation and Resistance centers Indigenous ways of knowing. Working within intergenerational learning groups and as collaborators in vibrant community networks, Alaska’s Indigenous artists are invigorating traditional stories in customary arts and proposing resilient futures through design, tattoo, regalia and graphic arts. Artist projects elevate collaboration, allyship, and community as tools of resistance, adaptation, and cultural affirmation. The exhibition explores three themes:  Land and Culture Protectors, Activists for Justice and Sovereignty and Resilient Futures.

“Our lifeways, material culture, and protocols serve as armor to resist efforts to exterminate us.  They are rooted in the power to unite and create space for all people.  When we break down the efforts of those who work to silo, segregate, and discriminate there is space for all people and all living things.” – Joel Isaak (Dena’ina, Kenai)


Kaxhatjaa X’óow / Herring Protectors robes: K’asheechtlaa Louise Brady, Káakaxaawulga Jennifer Younger with Carol Hughey and many volunteers

Lingit hats: Ku agoo Linda Starbard, Tanux Gordon James Junior, Rachel Langford Guultlagaay Donna Rae James, Gúut dláayas Devin Hannon

Chilkat Protector MasksLily Wooshkindein Da.áat Hope, Sydney Akagi, Davina Drones, Michelle Demmert, Mary Kate Dennis, Shgendootan George, Gabriella George, Shaadootlaa Iyall Hanlon, Ursula Hudson, Donedin Jackson, Melina Meyer, Rae Ann Mills, Debra O’Gara, Laine Rinehart, Jodi Watts

Ghelch’ehi, Dena’ina birchbark baskets: Joel Isaak and Helen McLean

Chickaloonies graphic novel: Dimi Macheras with Casey Silver

Healing Stitches Atikluk installation: Bobby Qalutaksraq Brower, Melissa Ahnoorik Ingersoll, Cassandra Tikasuk Johnson, Qataliña Jackie Schaeffer, Beverly Tuck

Traditional Tattoo Photographs: Sarah Ayaqi Whalen-Lunn, Alice Qannik Glenn, Aviññaq/Danyal Harvey, Bailey Shaeffer, Cynthia Ivan, Kimberlyn Erin Smith, Kunayaq Qaumaluq Hank, Princes Daazharaii Johnson, Talivaaq Qinugana/Jerilynn Wellert

Qulliq seal oil lamps: Kunaq Marjorie Tahbone, Agasuuq Hanna Sholl, Aqugaq Elli Tansy, Britt’Nee Kivliqtaruq Brower, Jackie Qatalina Schaeffer

Tupik Mi, Digital video: Holly Mititquq Nordlum with Michael Conti

How to be a Good Guest: Melissa Shaginoff

Memorial Qaspeq: Amber Webb

We’re Still Here: Naal xak’w/Tommy Joseph

Digital Illustrations: Sarah Ayaqi Whalen-Lunn, Crystal Rose Demientieff Worl, Rico Lanaat’ Worl

Exhibition sponsors: National Endowment for the Arts, Alaska Humanities Forum, Alaska Community Foundation, The CIRI Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation.

Tour Calendar

Homer, AK – The Pratt Museum, June 11 – September 24, 2022

Anchorage, AK – The Anchorage Museum, October 21 – March 31, 2023

Portland, OR – Native Arts and Culture Foundation, May 19th – August 5th, 2023

Tulsa, OK – Tulsa Living Arts, September 1 – October 13, 2023

Santa Fe, NM -Museum of International Folk Art – Fall 2023

Juneau, AK – Alaska State Museum, Summer 2024

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

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