Meet Inupiat artist Larry Ahvakana Jan. 6
December 22, 2011 · Updated 2:00 PM
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Bainbridge Arts and Crafts hosts a series of events with noted Inupiat carver Larry “Ulaaq” Ahvakana in January.
Bainbridge Arts and Crafts — 151 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island — opens a month-long exhibition of Ahvakana’s work Jan. 6. An exhibition reception is scheduled for that day, 6-8 p.m.
BAC then hosts an artist talk with Ahvakana on Jan. 7, 12:30 p.m.
Ahvakana is a contemporary Native master artist who works in alabaster, glass, marble, wood and other materials.
Born in Fairbanks, Ahvakana grew up in Barrow and Anchorage. He says that watching his mother, an accomplished skin sewer, was his introduction to the arts.
“All my life, I was surrounded by my culture and my people, the Inupiaq of northern Alaska,” he wrote. “The dances and songs of the Inupiaq tradition is the oral history of my people. It is the emotional interpretation of our respect and involvement within the environment of the North Slope of Alaska.
“My work involves the use of many media and materials. Within my designs, I incorporate the sense of my cultural design, but the interpretation is very personal and the conceptual format, I hope, will give the viewer an idea of the Inupiaq tradition.”
He studied at Rhode Island School of Design, Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. His work is in private and public collections, including the Alaska State Museum, the Burke Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum.
A nonprofit organization founded in 1948, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts encourages the creation and appreciation of contemporary art and craft by exhibiting and selling the work of Northwest artists, and by offering art education to a countywide audience.
For more information, visit www.bacart.org/exh-current.html.