friday harbor art gallery

Alaskan Art

Perhaps it is the long dark days of the Arctic winter which nourishes the fertile imagination of the Alaskan Native artist. Using an unlikely array of animal materials, Alaskan artists have created several unique art forms including; woven baleen baskets, whale bone and walrus ivory sculpture.

Once grouped together as “Eskimos” these Northern peoples from the Arctic are now acknowledged as culturally separate groups. Beginning in the far north and west of Alaska are the Inupiaq people, to the south of them along the coastline are the Central Yup’ik and further west on Saint Lawrence Island and in Russia are the Siberian Yup’ik. Along the Aleutian Island chain the Aleut make their home. The Alutiiq Eskimo people who inhabit the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island are close relatives.

Ethnically and culturally separate are the Athabascan of interior Alaska, known for the bead work and birchbark baskets. Although located coastally in Southeast Alaska along the Alaskan “Panhandle,” the Haida and Tlingit are considered “Northwest Coast” Native people rather than “Northern Alaskan” Natives. Their totem poles, masks, argillite and wood carvings are internationally recognized. Wood, scarce to the northern arctic, doesn’t figure into “Eskimo” artwork.

“Kayak Scene” by Noongwook Edwin

Noongwook Edwin 11x6x4 Kayak hunter alsakan sculpture on woodScene

“Kayak Scene ” by Noongwook Edwin
11″ x 6″ x 4″ – $1,200

“School of Fish” by Ningosa Kakee

Ningosa Kakee School of Fish - inuit stone sculpture

“School of Fish” by Ningosa Kakee
6″ x 11″ x 5″ – $795

“Raven Box” by Allen Dennis

“Raven Box” by Allen Dennis
6″ x 9″ x 6″ – $700

“White Raven” by Moy Sutherland

Moy Sutherland 36 dia White Raven 10,000

“White Raven” by Moy Sutherland
36″ dia. – Sold

“Thunderbird & Orca” by Andy Wilbur

Thunderbird & Orca by Andy Wilbur - Northwest Coast

“Thunderbird & Orca” by Andy Wilbur
28″ x 20″ – $950

“Kingfisher Panel” by Andy Wilbur

Kingfisher Panel by Andy Wilbur - Northwest Coast

“Kingfisher Panel” by Andy Wilbur
24″ diameter – $1,400

“Raven and Salmon” by Andy Wilbur

Raven and Salmon by Andy Wilbur - Northwest Coast

“Raven and Salmon” by Andy Wilbur
23″ diameter – $1,200

“Walrus & Pup” by Ricky Kuzuguk

"Walrus & Pup" by Ricky Kuzuguk - Alaskan sculpture

“Walrus & Pup” by Ricky Kuzuguk
9″ x 6″ x 7″ – $850

“Male Portrait” by John Weyiouanna

"Male Portrait" by John Weyiouanna

“Male Portrait” by John Weyiouanna
6″ x 8″ – $280