ARTShops 2020 Braiding Beach Grass
Story by Apay'uq Moore
The ARTShops program is a collaboration between the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation and The CIRI Foundation’s A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Arts and Culture grant program. Established in 2016, ARTShops support emerging Alaska Native arts leaders to develop their skills in leading community-based arts programs.
As part of my ARTShop project, I spent four days harvesting red salmon and camping at Togiak Lake with my mom. In returning to Twin Hills, we harvested grass between four generations. It was memorable and priceless. It was new to us, as we have never done that together. We have never spent time aiming for a goal in creative gathering. Usually we subsist for food, but to participate in gathering for an art project was something I will forever cherish, as I recall the day, the breeze, the clouds, my grandma’s voice, my kids in the background, and the setting of being in Twin Hills, a place of saturated love and nostalgia for the parts of my identity where I unknowingly learned to be Yup’ik as a child. The most important part of this, was tapping into the memory of my mom and grandma. To hear them recall advice from a time that was so different from now was like magic.