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Artist Opportunities

Alaska State Museum

To stay informed about events at the Alaska State Museum, including open calls for solo artists exhibitions and Alaska Positive, subscribe to our Museum Exhibits & Events Notices.

Framed moose antler.
Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Remnant, Moose Antler Acrylic polymer, moose antler, reindeer fur

Solo artist exhibitions

Every few years the Alaska State Museum solicits Alaskan artists to submit their portfolios for solo exhibitions. The next call for proposals will open in 2022.

2019-2023 selected artists:

  • Sara Tabbert: printmaker and sculptor from Fairbanks
  • Alison Bremner (Naxshageit): multidisciplinary artist from Yakutat
  • Ben Huff: photographer from Juneau
  • Sonya Kelliher-Combs: mixed media painter and sculptor from Anchorage
  • Gail Priday: painter from Fairbanks
  • Jannah Sexton-Atkins: mixed media assemblage artist and sculptor from Anchorage
  • Mitchell Watley: diorama artist from Juneau

Alaska Positive: A biennial exhibition of Alaska photography

Organized by the Alaska State Museum

Now in its 49th year, Alaska Positive is a juried photography exhibit – a biennial series meant to encourage photography as an art form in the state. Alaska Positive will open at the Alaska State Museum on December 6, 2019 and run through February 15, 2020. The exhibition will then travel to museums throughout Alaska including the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka; the Wasilla Museum & Visitor Center; the University of Alaska Museum of the North, Fairbanks; the Haines Sheldon Museum; the Cordova Historical Museum; the Valdez Museum; and the Tongass Historical Museum, Ketchikan.

Black & white photograph captures several adults dipnetting in a river with a dramatic partly cloudy sky overhead.
Cody Swanson, Dipnetters, Ink on gelatin silver print,
Juror's Choice Award

The juror for Alaska Positive was David Michael Kennedy, whose photographic career spans over 50 years. His works are held in museum collections including the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institute. Kennedy selected 38 photographs by 26 photographers for the exhibit. Overall, 202 photographs were submitted by Alaskan photographers for the competition. The top award, the Juror's Choice, went to Cody Swanson of Anchorage for the photograph titled Dipnetters. Dipnetters is a pinhole photograph made using a camera constructed from a cast of the artist's head. The print was then altered with mixed media to express fantasies and memories within the landscape. The Awards of Recognition went to Mike Gates of Ketchikan for Self, and Iris Korhonen-Penn of Juneau for Auke Lake, Bunchberry, Eagle Beach, and Lincoln Island. These awards are sponsored by the Friends of the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum.

Final Photographs Selected for Alaska Positive 2019

  • JR Ancheta, Fairbanks, Zachary circa 2019
  • Robin Chapman, Fairbanks, descent
  • Robin Chapman, Fairbanks, old soul
  • Dean Cully, Anchorage, Driftless Swimmer
  • John DeLapp, Anchorage, Approaching Storm
  • Bob Eastaugh, Anchorage, Atmospherics, Southeast Drama
  • Hal Gage, Anchorage, Santa Guadalupe de El Triunfo, Baja California del Sur, MX
  • Hal Gage, Anchorage, Whitewash
  • Mike Gates, Ketchikan, Self, Award of Recognition
  • Mike Gates, Ketchikan, Yellow House with Pigeons
  • John Hagen, Haines, The Sound of Wind and Grass
  • Mary Hall, Utqiagvik, Atticus
  • Mary Hall, Utqiagvik, Eisblume, #19
  • Mary Hall, Utqiagvik, Molokai
  • Bob Hallinen, Anchorage, Incoming Tide
  • Amber Johnson, Anchorage, Nothing but Air
  • Joseph Kashi, Soldotna, Drifting the Kenai #1
  • Mark Kelley, Juneau, Alaska Garden of Eden
  • Mark Kelley, Juneau, Winter Serenity
  • Iris Korhonen-Penn, Juneau, Auke Lake, Award of Recognition (for Body of Work)
  • Iris Korhonen-Penn, Juneau, Bunchberry, Award of Recognition (for Body of Work)
  • Iris Korhonen-Penn, Juneau, Eagle Beach, Award of Recognition (for Body of Work)
  • Iris Korhonen-Penn, Juneau, Lincoln Island, Award of Recognition (for Body of Work)
  • Bonnie Landis, Anchorage, Creekside
  • J. Jason Lazarus, Fairbanks, Ransacked Forest, Elliot Highway
  • J. Jason Lazarus, Fairbanks, Maze of Trees, near Black Rapids, Alaska
  • Petra Lisiecki, Anchorage, Bliss
  • Petra Lisiecki, Anchorage, The Hat
  • Deborah Mercy, Ketchikan, Dall's Porpoise in Icy Strait
  • Chris Miller, Juneau, Reflective Abstraction
  • Gary Postlethwait, Anchorage, Comfort
  • Judy Sanchez, Fairbanks, Skyscraper
  • Linda Smogor, Homer, Sarah and Glenn and Ross, Tribute to Grant Wood, Homer, Alaska
  • Cody Swanson, Anchorage, Dipnetters, Juror's Choice Award
  • Rafael Torres, Ketchikan, A Perfect Ten
  • Rafael Torres, Ketchikan, Ketchikan
  • Dennis Walworth, Anchorage, Tidal Sculpture
  • Robin Wood, Fairbanks, Creamer's Reflection

For questions or more information, contact the Alaska State Museum curator of exhibitions Jackie Manning:

Sheldon Jackson Museum

To stay informed about events at the Sheldon Jackson Museum, including open calls for solo artists exhibitions and the Native Artist Residency Program, subscribe to our events email list: Museum Exhibits & Events Notices.

12 sepia photos lined up in a 4x3 grid.

Image Credit: Peter Williams, Seasons, Transitions, skin sewing

Solo artist exhibitions

Starting in 2020, the Sheldon Jackson Museum will display solo artist exhibitions by Alaskan Native artists.

The Sheldon Jackson Museum was founded in 1887 to house an exceptional collection of Alaska Native ethnographic material. The Sheldon Jackson Museum and its collection were purchased by the State of Alaska to inspire human thought and artistic endeavor, to stimulate ethnographic research and to foster an awareness of, and an appreciation for, the enriching qualities of a multi-cultural existence.

2021-2022 selected artists

  • Peter Williams (Yup'ik): hunter, artist, and designer based in Sitka, AK
  • Allie High (Unangan, Tsimshian, and Haida): mixed media artist based in Eagle River who incorporates Northwest Coast designs on glass, wood, silkscreen prints, animal hides, and metal.

Alaska Native Artist Residency Program

Since 1988, summer visitors to the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka have enjoyed the opportunity to meet Alaska Native artists-in-residence at the Sheldon Jackson Museum. The artists discuss their culture, artwork, and creative process with visitors as they work in the gallery and give lectures and hands-on workshops and lead other public programs of their own design.

Alaska Native artists-in-residence are selected on a competitive basis in the spring. For an application or answers to questions about the program, contact the Sheldon Jackson Museum curator by calling 907-747-8904 or e-mailing Jackie Hamberg. Mail application for the residency to 104 College Drive Sitka, AK 99835.

Individuals interested in making a donation to the residency program should contact the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum by calling 907-747-6233 or emailing Friends of SJM.

Collage of 8 photos showing off Native artists with their work.

For information on the Alaska Native Artist Residency Program, read our NARP press release or download our NARP information packet.

To apply for the Alaska Native Artist Residency Program, download our application (either Word or PDF format), fill it out, and submit by email to SJM Curator Jackie Hamberg.:

Page last updated 12/26/2019