Grantee: Jackson Polys
Jackson will work together with his apprentice, Robert Mills, investigating both traditional and advanced Tlingit carving techniques and formline design concepts. Jackson will collaborate with his apprentice to apply these methodologies in the conceptualization and construction of a series of pieces responding to ancestral items. Their work will honor the historical and current cultural significance of Tlingit society, and the materials and designs used to create the new pieces will be infused with multiple implications that reveal interpretive possibilities. Through this process, Jackson and his apprentice will examine and question the viability of divisions between what might be considered traditional and contemporary Native art as they create a series of works that draws from and merges these two art sets.
Jackson acknowledges the gift of his experiences of apprenticeship and is committed to the perpetuation of traditional Northwest Coast art forms. He is devoted to expanding dialogue around the tenability of desires for indigenous futures — dedicated to possibilities of deploying and innovating through Native art practices to transcend stereotypical thought and invigorate contemporary art.
I want to share the great treasure my father has passed on to me, and to work collaboratively with the apprentice, in order to co-examine and challenge the artistic boundaries of traditional forms, as the place of art and its meaning grows and changes within contemporary culture. – Jackson Polys