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In 2003, Alaska’s Rasmuson Foundation launched its Art Acquisition Fund, providing grants to museums to collect the current works of Alaskan artists. In its first decade, the fund distributed nearly $2 million and helped 33 museums purchase more than 1,000 works by 436 artists.
A new exhibit, “Living Alaska: A Decade of Collecting Contemporary Art for Alaska Museums,” celebrates this program and presents a sample of the artwork purchased by 12 museums. The exhibit has three themes, the natural environment, Alaska Native experiences, and life in twenty-first century Alaska. The result is a show with a broad, contemporary, Alaskan feel. Portraits of glaciers and rubber boots, items made with fish skin and ceramic, all highlight the great natural and cultural diversity of Alaska and its artists.
The Alutiiq Museum, who has purchased 125 works of art from 34 artists through the Rasmuson program, has supplemented the show with items from its contemporary art collection. The works of local artists Lena Amason-Bern, Alisha Drabek and Helm Johnson, Sandee Drabek, Darlene Lind, Jacqueline Madsen, Alfred and Roberta Naumoff, Tracy Opheim, and June Pardue were integrated into the show with support from the City of Kodiak and Sutliff’s True Value Hardware.
The public is invited to the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, January 20th form 5:00 – 7:00 pm. This is a free event sponsored by Rasmuson Foundation. Visitors will enjoy the displays, meet exhibit curator Sven Haakanson and Rasmuson Foundation representatives, sample refreshments from the Kodiak Hana Restaurant, and pick up a free copy of the exhibit catalog (while supplies last). All are welcome.
Living Alaska will be on display at the Alutiiq Museum through March 18, 2017. Kodiak is the exhibit’s fourth venue. It has already been shown in Anchorage, Homer, Juneau, Fairbanks, and will travel to Unalaska in the spring.
The Alutiiq Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Alutiiq, an Alaska Native tribal people. Representatives of Kodiak Alutiiq organizations govern the museum with funding from charitable contributions, memberships, grants, contracts, and sales.