Native wood carving makes a comeback at Anchorage Museum
Traditional Native wood carving is coming back to the Anchorage Museum. Three master carvers — John Hudson (Tsimshian), Norman Jackson (Tlingit) and Donald Varnell (Haida) — are taking part in a week-long residency at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.
“Voices from Cedar” is part of an exhibit at the museum showing modern and traditional carvings next to each other.
One of the things the artists are demonstrating is how to make traditional whistles and rattles, which are important spiritually and ceremonially.
The museum is focusing on arts that are vital in Alaska’s communities but may not be practiced by many artists.
“Organizing this project is about teaching and education and sharing, maybe some arts that aren’t very well known with the broader public and with young people who are really interested in learning,” said Aron Crowell, Alaska director for the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center.
You can see the artists in action. There are public visiting hours Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the museum. You can ask questions and see how traditional carvings are made.
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