October 17, 2022


On view Oct. 21, 2022 – April 9, 2023

In times of pandemic, climate crisis, and ongoing assaults to human rights, Indigenous Alaska artists are strengthening self and community by invigorating traditional stories in customary arts and proposing resilient futures through design, tattoo, regalia and graphic art. Opening at the Anchorage Museum Friday, Oct. 21, the exhibition Protection: Adaptation and Resistance centers Indigenous ways of knowing.

The artists in this exhibition work within inter-generational learning groups and as collaborators in vibrant community networks. Their projects elevate collaboration, allyship, and community as tools of resistance, adaptation, and cultural affirmation. The exhibition explores three themes: Land and Culture Protectors, Activists for Justice and Sovereignty and Resilient Futures.

“Our lifeways, material culture, and protocols serve as armor to resist efforts to exterminate us. They are rooted in the power to unite and create space for all people. When we break down the efforts of those who work to silo, segregate, and discriminate, there is space for all people and all living things.”
— Joel Isaak (Dena’ina), artist

Artworks and artists included in the exhibition:
Kaxhatjaa X’óow/Herring Protectors robes: K’asheechtlaa Louise Brady, Káakaxaawulga Jennifer Younger with Carol Hughey and many volunteers
Lingit hats: Ku agoo Linda Starbard, Tanux Gordon James Junior, Rachel Langford Guultlagaay Donna Rae James, Gúut dláayas Devin Hannon
Chilkat Protector Masks: Lily Wooshkindein Da.áat Hope, Sydney Akagi, Davina Drones, Michelle Demmert, Mary Kate Dennis, Shgendootan George, Gabriella George, Shaadootlaa Iyall Hanlon, Ursula Hudson, Donedin Jackson, Melina Meyer, Rae Ann Mills, Debra O’Gara, Laine Rinehart, Jodi Watts
Ghelch’ehi, Dena’ina birchbark baskets: Joel Isaak and Helen McLean
Chickaloonies graphic novel: Dimi Macheras with Casey Silver
Healing Stitches Atikluk installation: Bobby Qalutaksraq Brower, Melissa Ahnoorik Ingersoll, Cassandra Tikasuk Johnson, Qataliña Jackie Schaeffer, Beverly Tuck
Traditional Tattoo Photographs: Sarah Ayaqi Whalen-Lunn, Alice Qannik Glenn, Aviññaq/Danyal Harvey, Bailey Shaeffer, Cynthia Ivan, Kimberlyn Erin Smith, Kunayaq Qaumaluq Hank, Princes Daazharaii Johnson, Talivaaq Qinugana/Jerilynn Wellert
Qulliq seal oil lamps: Kunaq Marjorie Tahbone, Agasuuq Hanna Sholl, Aqugaq Elli Tansy, Britt’Nee Kivliqtaruq Brower, Jackie Qatalina Schaeffer
Tupik Mi, Digital video: Holly Mititquq Nordlum with Michael Conti
Memorial Qaspeq: Amber Webb
We’re Still Here: Naal xak’w/Tommy Joseph
Digital Illustrations: Sarah Ayaqi Whalen-Lunn, Crystal Rose Demientieff Worl, Rico Lanaat’ Worl
Yee eedé tooshí áa (We sing to you), Digital Video: Xéetl’ee Katelyn Stiles in collaboration with Ḵ'asheechtlaa Louise Brady

Protection is organized by the Bunnell Street Arts Center, a non-profit multidisciplinary arts center located at Tuggeht (presently known as Homer, Alaska). Between the fall of 2019 and the winter of 2021-2022, Bunnell presented five workshops and four mentorships for Indigenous artist-mentors and Indigenous artist-learners. These workshops were supported by CARES funds through the Alaska Community Foundation and by The CIRI Foundation. Much of the artwork featured in this exhibition was created in these learning cohorts. Protection first opened this past June at the Pratt Museum in Homer Alaska. After it’s run at the Anchorage Museum, it travels to the Native Arts and Culture Foundation in Portland, Oregon (Summer 2023), Tulsa Living Arts in Tulsa, Oklahoma (September 2023), Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Fall 2023), and Alaska State Museum in Juneau, Alaska, (Summer 2024).
Protection is made possible with support from National Endowment for the Arts, CIRI Foundation, The Alaska Community Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Humanities Forum, Atwood Foundation.


Opening Night Event

Join us for the opening of the exhibition Protection: Adaptation and Resistance from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, in the Anchorage Museum. Enjoy a special opportunity to interact with artists on the floor. In attendance will be artists Joel Isaak and Sarah Whalen-Lunn. Included with admission, no registration required. Read more on our online calendar.

Media Contacts

Hank Davis
Communications Manager

Leroy Polk
Communications Manager

Zakiya McCummings
Communications Manager

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