SHI, UAS and IAIA partner to offer Northwest Coast art education

Haida artist Robert Davidson's metal panel "Greatest Echo" adorns the front of the Walter Soboleff Building. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)

The offices of the Sealaska Heritage Institute are in the Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)

Sealaska Heritage Institute has partnered with the Institute of American Indian Arts and the University of Alaska Southeast to provide enhanced and expanded Northwest Coast art programs and opportunities for Alaska students.

The three organizations signed a memorandum of agreement last Wednesday that will be used to design and implement a formal education plan.

“It’s part of a broader effort to really highlight Northwest Coast art, and to really make it something that’s attractive, that people want to come to Alaska to see,” said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute. “In order to do that, we need to make sure we have practicing artists.”

Worl said the initial focus will be for students to complete a two-year program at the University of Alaska Southeast in Northwest Coast arts. Then, those students could transfer to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe for further study.

“And we want our students to have a good grounding in Northwest Coast art, but we also want them to be exposed to the broader creativity of art,” Worl said. “We want them to be able to work in different kinds of media – glass, tapestry – and IAIA does have programs where its students study in different countries.”

UAS hired Mique’l Dangeli in August to teach Northwest Coast art history. Worl said Dangeli, who is originally from Metlaktla, will be instrumental in expanding the program at the university.

“She’ll be recruiting others to teach other Northwest Coast arts. I understand her husband is going to be coming up and teaching a class as well. But really, at UAS, it is yet to be broadened.”

Worl said SHI currently provides Northwest Coast art education to elementary and secondary school students, but will expand that program. She said giving students the fundamentals at a young age will better prepare them for college courses.

“We’ve been trying to cultivate the arts already in our schools and in our communities, so I think they will have a cadre of students who are interested in Northwest Coast arts.”

Classes in Northwest Coast art are offered in Ketchikan through the Totem Heritage Center. UAS students can receive college credits for those courses. Worl said details are being worked out, but believes these classes will be included in the degree program.

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.
X