Grantee: Lani Hotch
Native Citizenship: Chilkat Indian Village
Location: Klukwan, Alaska
Award: 2017 Mentor Artist Fellowship
Discipline: Traditional Arts, Weaving
Web Site: None
Through her artwork and mentoring, Lani Hotch teaches Tlingit cultural ways in order to educate and inspire her apprentices and to stimulate positive social change for her community. For example, the Klukwan Healing Robe project that she initiated in 1992 was intended to address the community’s generational trauma and move past years of cultural oppression by fully embracing and celebrating Tlingit culture. Since completing the Klukwan Healing Robe, her community has accomplished much in the realm of cultural revitalization.
Historically and currently, the Klukwan community in Alaska is well known for the tradition of Chilkat weaving. This art form was nearly entirely lost when a master weaver died in the mid 1980’s. However, a foresightful group of women started to learn the art form in the early 1990’s and shortly thereafter, Hotch initiated the Klukwan Healing Robe project in 1992. It took eight long years of work and intermittent weaving to complete the Klukwan Healing Robe project. Now, Hotch is the only artist remaining from that group who is actively weaving today.
For her 2017 NACF Mentor Fellowship project, Hotch will walk her apprentice, Carrie Ann Durr (Chilkat Indian Village), through the entire process of the design, planning, and preparation to weave and complete a traditional weaving. She would like to weave the project in a public setting and believes that demonstrating how to weave in this setting will raise more interest and perhaps inspire others to learn to weave. She plans for the completed weaving to be used in traditional dance performance; thereby, further exposing this traditional woven art form, while contributing to the perpetuation of traditional song and dance in her community.
There is a lot of planning that goes into creating a weaving … I would like to work one-on-one with an individual and walk them through the entire process.
~ Lani Hotch
Mentor and Apprentice Joint Art Project:
Lani Hotch and Carrie Ann Durr completed a child’s dance robe together. As is customary, the robe was then publicly presented to the community in a traditional dance at Sealaska Heritage’s Celebration in 2018.