Artists and Designers Create Temporary Artworks to Spark Conversations Around Landscape, Climate and Community
New SEED Lab installation series, Hghu Hghazdatl (They All Gathered) on view Oct. 3-25 at four Anchorage locations
October 03, 2019
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Oct. 3, 2019 – Connection to the natural landscape, Indigenous values, our changing environment and community gathering spaces merge in a series of four temporary outdoor art and design installations, debuting today around Anchorage.
Designers hope these installations, collectively titled in the Dena’ina language Hghu Hghazdatl (They All Gathered), encourage people to gather, share ideas and reflect upon the landscape around Anchorage as well as Indigenous values relating to the land, according to project curator and Canadian Métis artist/architect Tiffany Shaw-Collinge.
The installations are part of SEED Lab, an initiative that joins creative practitioners, civic leaders, and community members to envision positive futures for the North. SEED Lab is one of five winners of the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge and partners the Municipality of Anchorage with the Anchorage Museum to create public art that explores responses to climate change.
“Anchorage sits on traditional Dena’ina land, and the values of stewardship and respect for the natural environment are integral to our shared sense of place, as well as the identity of our community,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “Art, thought and conversation about Anchorage and climate change will lead in many directions. It also reminds us that climate change affects us all and that art gives us the occasion to think and talk about it.”
The installations happen during the Museum’s Anchorage Design Week. Teams of artists and designers have been working collectively on Hghu Hghazdatl, with each installation situated outdoors at one of four locations: Ship Creek, Kincaid Park, the Anchorage Museum and SEED Lab. Among the ideas that inspired the teams are: climate change, material lifecycles and reuse, Dena’ina people as the original inhabitants of the land in and around Anchorage, connection to the natural world, land acknowledgement, civic spaces and the future of the North.
“As we think about the futures of our places, finding ways to gather and share is an important way to think about civic participation. We are interested in how we create a dialogue about our landscapes, materiality, vernacular and experiences that allows us to consider possible futures for our city,” said Julie Decker, Anchorage Museum director/CEO.
Following is a summary of the installations:
Tidelands, Ship Creek Small Boat Launch
Anchorage designers Petra Sattler-Smith, Buck Walsky and Karen Larsen encourage visitors to re-examine the city’s relationship, and individuals’ relationships, with the ocean, its tides and the Port of Anchorage with an installation constructed from shipping containers.
Ułchena Huchłtyut (Where We Pulled up the Alutiiqs), Kincaid Park Overpass
Created by Anchorage designers Taylor Keegan and Nicholas Horn-Rollins, this interactive installation highlights Dena’ina history in the area, language and memory.
Wezup II, Anchorage Museum Lawn
Designed by multidisciplinary visual artist Marek Ranis, this installation was assembled from locally sourced timbers, including lumber affected by spruce beetles and forest fires. It invites viewers to consider changes happening to forests, urban spaces and links between climate change and the human relationship with the land.
Think Next Over Now, SEED Lab
Anchorage artist James Temte is creating a mural on the west side of the SEED Lab building at the corners of 6th Avenue and A Street. Temte uses wheat paste to apply a photographic image to the façade. The image chosen by Temte is by Anchorage photographer Michael Conti and suggests the hopes of the "next" generation of both people and landscapes. Temte is the founder of the Alaska Mural Project, an effort he hopes can be a model for what public art can do for a city.
The public art installations will be in place for free public viewing Oct. 3-25 during the open hours set by each location. A ticketed guided tour of all installations is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 6, as part of Design Week, with $15 tickets available at www.anchoragedesignweek.org.
ABOUT SEED LAB
SEED Lab brings creative practitioners, civic leaders and community changemakers together to address the challenges of living in the North and to propose and envision positive futures. One of five winners of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, SEED Lab partners the Municipality of Anchorage and the Anchorage Museum to create public art that explores pressing social issues. For Anchorage, SEED Lab seeks positive solutions in response to climate change through investigations and experiments. For more information, visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/seedlab. Follow SEED Lab on Instagram and Twitter.
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