Celebration 2012 embraces Native art

Merle Anderson and her husband sell Haida arts and crafts at the 2010 Celebration Artists Market. Photo by Ed Schoenfeld.

This year’s Celebration Native cultural event will have an added focus on art.

Celebration 2012 is set for June 7th through the 9th at Juneau’s Centennial Hall. It’s organized by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the cultural arm of the regional Native corporation of the same name. This year’s theme is “Strengthen Yourself.”

The event will include dozens of dance groups, most from Southeast Alaska, plus traditional food contests and lectures.

Institute President Rosita Worl says organizers have been looking for new ways to promote traditional and contemporary Alaska Native art.

“We are going to have a Native artists’ gathering on Wednesday opening up celebration. And at the close of the day, we’ll have the jurried art show,” Worl says.

Celebration always includes an artists’ market. Worl says this year, it will have a new outdoor venue to allow for more displays.

“We’re planning to have it right here on our parking lot. And we own the lot across the street where we’re going to be building our Sealaska Heritage Center. So we’re going to be seeing if we can have dancing there. It will become more visible right here in the center of town,” she says.

More information is on the Institute’s website. That includes applications for dance groups, which are due by March 2nd.

Hear earlier reports:

- Celebration 2010 features soapberry contest.

- Taste-testing black seaweed

- Watch a video of the soapberry contest from Kathy Dye of Sealaska Heritage Institute.