Grantee: Kathleen Carlo Kendall
Native Citizenship: Koyukon Athabascan
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Award: 2018 Mentor Artist Fellowship
Discipline: Contemporary Visual Arts, Sculpture, Carving
Web Site: none
Through all her years of creating art, one of Kathleen Carlo Kendall’s greatest satisfactions is having taught in the artist-in-schools programs. This provided her an opportunity to visit remote villages across the state of Alaska, teach her art, and inspire rural residents to produce and express themselves through wood carving and sculpture. In the end, many of these Alaska Native villages have independently launched art programs and have proudly shown their work through first-time village exhibits.
In the late 1970s, Carlo Kendall emerged as one of the first Alaska Native women to carve wood, traditionally considered a men’s practice. As masks were not used extensively within her own culture, she reflected upon the masks of the Yup’ik and other cultures for inspiration. The inspirations influenced her departure from traditional sculptural concepts, which inspires her students today and has helped develop new prospects for future artists by manifesting traditional cultural art forms into expanded contemporary visualizations. Her work is deeply rooted with vast cultural knowledge and wisdom, and Carlo Kendall re-imagines this into beautiful and mesmerizing artwork that exquisitely exemplifies her talent.
In her 2018 Mentor Artist Fellowship, Carlo Kendall will teach Chris Ehlers (Diné) carving methods to help him develop his own wood sculptures. Ehlers will be involved in all aspects of exhibition preparation, curation, and documentation, and throughout the process, cultural traditions and heritage will be emphasized as the foundation of the art-making philosophies.
Mentoring has always been a priority because of the satisfaction I gain by watching student growth and creative development. It is a pure pleasure to see how proud students are of their finished pieces.
~ Kathleen Carlo Kendall