The Anchorage Museum’s Points of View exhibition series showcases the permanent collection from the perspective of a guest curator. Perseverance, an unconventional conceptual installation curated by artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs, is a personal exploration of the transformative power of utilitarian objects.
Featuring Alaska Native art and functional objects from the museum’s permanent collection, Perseverance challenges the usual perception of Alaska Native objects. Individually, the objects in this exhibit might reflect history, culture, family and lifeways. Collectively, however, they exhibit speak loudly to the social ills that many Alaska Native people have experienced: abuse, marginalization, commodification and other struggles.
Some of these issues are tough to confront, and speaking of them is often taboo. Kelliher-Combs believes that “these problems, although challenging, must be voiced to transform and promote healing.” Her exploration of them through this presentation of Points of View is a positive testament to the innovation and perseverance of Native cultures. Kelliher-Combs grew up in Nome, Alaska, before pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University. Her artwork has been exhibited extensively across Alaska and has been included in numerous national and international traveling exhibitions. In 2007, Kelliher-Combs received the prestigious Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art.
Interested in other exhibitions that view the North from multiple perspectives?
Polar Bear Garden: The Place Between Alaska and Russia - on view through Sept. 17, 2017