Caption: Inside Passage by Michaela Goade
Juneau’s Indigenous artists make big waves with their talents and are recognized for uplifting their culture through a variety of mediums. In fact, Alaska’s capital is poised to become an “epicenter for Indigenous art,” complementing Sealaska Heritage Institute’s goal for Juneau to become the “Northwest Coast arts capital of the world” by constructing a brand new art campus downtown.
Local artists in Juneau are helping SHI in giving truth to the trailblazing goal.
Juneau-based Tlingit artist Rico Worl designed a U.S. postage stamp titled “Raven Story” that will live as a part of the U.S. Postal Services’ Forever Stamps series. The stamp features a raven flying among bright yellow stars and a full moon, harkening back to the traditional Tlingit story of the Raven and the Box of Daylight. Worl, along with his wife, Crystal, founded Juneau’s Indigenous lifestyle and design store Trickster Company.
Michaela Goade, who belongs to the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, rose to the spotlight this year for becoming the first Native American or Alaska Native to win a Randolph Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in the book “We Are Water Protectors.” Goade designed all of the illustrations with watercolor, depicting Native Americans protesting the construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. Goade, originally from Juneau, now resides in Sitka and represents Southeast Alaska as a prominent Indigenous artist. Just before the new year, Goade’s watercolor painting of civil rights champion Elizabeth Peratrovich served as Google’s Doodle for the day and was displayed front and center on its home page.
Wayne Price is a Tlingit master carver and associate professor of Northwest Coast art at the University of Alaska Southeast Price was named Rasmuson Foundation’s distinguished artist in 2020, honoring his lifetime of work in traditional sculpture and art. Visitors can find Price’s famed pieces of work, including totem poles, right in Juneau at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff building.
To support and view various mediums of Juneau’s Indigenous art scene, there are several art galleries and shops that are home to an abundance of local art.