Ron Senungetuk: A Retrospective
On view April 2 - Oct. 3, 2021
Inupiaq artist Ronald Senungetuk (1933-2020) was a world-renowned sculptor, silversmith and woodcarver who blended ancestral Inupiaq forms with modern concepts and materials.
Born in the village of Wales, Alaska, at the western tip of the Seward Peninsula, Senungetuk studied art with master craftsman George Fedoroff at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, later completing a bachelor’s degree in fine art at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts in New York. A Fulbright Scholar, he also studied Scandinavian design at the Statens Håndværks og Kunstindustriskole (Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry) in Oslo, Norway.
Senungetuk designed neckwear featuring silver and gold with walrus ivory in abstract forms. He made woodcarvings from exotic hardwoods, such as rosewood, teak, and silver maple, communicating minimalist ideas and Alaska Native sensibilities.
This exhibition presents works created over his career. His works have been featured in exhibitions and public art installations throughout Alaska and the US. He was a leading advocate for art in Alaska and helped establish the Native Art Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1965.
Image credit: Ron Senungetuk. Whaling, Whales, and Whaling Celebration, 1991. Maple, oil stain. Anchorage Museum collection, 1991.34.1ac. Photograph by Chris Arend.