Master Unangax artists demonstrate bentwood hat making
February 27, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 27, 2012
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Master Unangax artists demonstrate bentwood hat making at Anchorage Museum
For a week in March at the Anchorage Museum, Unangax (Aleut) master artists Patricia Lekanoff-Gregory and Michael Livingston will demonstrate the endangered art of bentwood hat making and share their knowledge with apprentices from their home communities.
Museum visitors are invited to observe from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 through Friday, March 9 as the artists carve, bend and decorate bentwood hats in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. Access to this event is included with museum general admission.
Traditionally, bentwood hats were practical headgear for Aleutian Islands hunters as they traveled in kayaks. At the same time, the hats were ceremonial works of art that vividly expressed the spiritual connection between people and sea creatures.
During their residency the master artists will discus the art form on film, documenting the traditional knowledge that surrounds this focal item of Unangax culture.
This is the second Alaska’s Living Cultural Treasures artist residency at the museum. This program is sponsored by the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Anchorage Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. Learn more at www.anchoragemuseum.org.