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
Alaska Positive Postponed
Due to periodic closures, reduced visitation revenue, and the ongoing disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been forced to make some changes to our exhibition schedule. As a result, Alaska Positive has been postponed. The schedule is still being determined. At the latest, the exhibit will be delayed until the fall of 2023.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times.
Alaska Positive is a juried photography exhibit organized by the Alaska State Museum. This biennial series is meant to encourage photography as an art form in the state.
Alaska Positive 2019
Alaska Positive opened at the Alaska State Museum on December 6, 2019 and ran through February 15, 2020. The exhibition continues to 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.
The juror for Alaska Positive 2019 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:
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.
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.