Poet Joan Naviyuk Kane brings her deeply internalized knowledge of place into her works. One reviewer states that hers is the “eye which sees itself as part of the landscape” as opposed to an eye that tries to name and in the process, interpret, what it sees.
Building from a renowned lineage of musicians with unique guitar tunings, including his father Gabby Pahinui, slack-key master Cyril Pahinui has developed a distinctive style that is instantly recognizable and imparts an intimate picture of his island home. His soulful baritone voice brings a deeply personal emotion to everything he sings.
Andrew Okpeaha MacLean is a film director and screenwriter creating works in international filmmaking arenas. His films are set in his homeland, shot on location in Barrow, Alaska, starring Iñupiat people. They are among the first feature films produced in the Iñupiaq language.
Alan Michelson lives and works in New York City. Through his conceptual work, he develops his pieces employing various mediums. “My understanding of place and history is shaped and conditioned by Haudenosaunee concepts and perspectives. The forms that I invent are often based on Haudenosaunee cultural models like wampum belts, blended with media or materials from the dominant culture such as video or glass,” said Michelson. “My work is grounded in place and informed by history, and therefore research is an integral part of my practice.”
Christen Marquez is a young filmmaker working to dispel the “Exotic Other” myths that surround indigenous peoples. “Through the fusion of cultures in my work, I intend to carry the message of non-indigenous and indigenous communities alike, that we refuse to be fossilized,” said Marquez.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs is growing into one of the premiere Native Alaskan artists working today. Her work is rooted in painting but is interwoven and influenced by traditional skin sewing and sculptural elements using animal hides in the development of her installations.