2023 Graduate ARTShop
Squirrel Material Traditions

This program is a collaboration between The CIRI Foundation, Bunnell Street Arts Center and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Established in 2016, ARTShops support emerging Alaska Native arts leaders to develop their skills in leading community-based arts programs.

Pictured are Elena Yohak Nayakcuk, Mary 0 Jones Unganer and Katherine Olick Nanurqalria wearing squirrel skin parkas in Kwethluk in the 19060s. Photo courtesy of Merna Wharton.

This year, our thematic approach centers on the material traditions associated with the Arctic Ground Squirrel native to Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. Their warm fur has been historically used in the production of high-quality parkas. For the project, we have engaged the talent and expertise of four accomplished artists: Merna Wharton, Golga Oscar, Michelle Ravenmoon, Kunaq Tahbone, and Amy Topkok

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