Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum Summer 2012 Newsletter

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Read about our 2012 Summer programs!


Friends ofSheldon Jackson Museum artists visit museum for collections studyNadia JackinskyWe have a busy summer to look forward to at the Shel-don Jackson Museum. This season the museum will host a series of visits from artists around the state who will study our collections and participate in public programs such as artist lectures and demonstrations. This years summer artist programs are made possible though generous support from the Smithsonian Na-tional Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the Alaska Humanities Forum and donations from our mu-seum membership.The visiting artist program funded by the NMAI is a pilot program organized with Keevin Lewis, NMAI programs coordinator. As part of the program, a group of six artists will spend three or four days at the mu-seum working with collections, and sharing their work with the public and museum staff. At the completion of the visit to Sitka, artists will share what they gained from the experience through workshops held in the art-ists home communities. Participating artists include Tlingit carver Tommy Joseph (Sitka), Aleut bentwood hat artist Patty Lekanoff-Gregory (Unalaska), Yupik/Athabascan conceptual artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Anchorage), Inupiaq carver Othniel Art Oomittuk (Point Hope), Tlingit weaver Jennie Wheeler (Yakutat) and Yupik skin artist sewer and doll maker Marlene Nielson (Kokhanok). Another three artists, Coral Chernoff (Alutiiq), Lalla Williams (Alutiiq), and Audrey Armstrong (Athabas-can), are coming to the museum through an Alaska Humanities Forum grant titled Documenting Art Technologies: Connecting Alaska Native Artists and our museum collections. These artists will focus their time at the museum sharing their knowledge of gut and fishskin processing and sewing. As part of these artists visits, the museum will host a fish skin basketry work-shop led by Armstrong (see article in the Newsletter on page 4), and a sinew spinning workshop led by Coral Chernoff.Volume 24, Issue 1We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the Sitka Fine Arts Camp this summer by sharing expenses for one faculty member to join SFAC as an instructor in Native Arts this June. This years instructor is Se-lina Alexander who is a textile artist and bead worker. While she is in Sitka, Selina will also demonstrate her work in the Sheldon Jackson Museum gallery. Other artist demonstrators who will share their work in our gallery this summer include Abel Ryan (Tsimshian), Cass Pook (Tlingit), Sarah Williams (Athabascan), and Peter Paul Williams (Aleut). We hope you will stop by our museum this summer to see our collections, meet visiting artists and partici-pate in a workshop. Thank you for supporting of our museum!Newsletter Summer 2012Sinew WorkshopThursday May 9th: Time & Place TBDCoral ChernoffFish Skin WorkshopJuly 19th-20thAudrey ArmstrongRegistration is requiredChildrens Corner!Bring your children to the museum. We now have a few drawers dedicated to children. Its hands on! Kids are welcome to grab a cushion and read some books or play with the Alaska Native inspired toys. Please check out our online calendar at www.friendsofsjm.comPage 1Alaska Native Artist Development Workshop OfferedThe Sheldon Jackson Museum will host an artists business development workshop led by the Alaska State Council on the Arts on June 4th from 9 AM-4 PM. During this workshop artists will have a chance to learn about opportunities to exhibit their work in the State of Alaska, gain tips on writing grant applications and finding grants and fellowships for artists, learn about resources available for Alaskan artists, and develop marketing strategies for working with galleries or selling artwork over the internet. This workshop is offered free of change with the support of the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of the American Indian. Pre-registration is required. Please contact the Sheldon Jackson Museum for more information and to register at 907.747.8981New Museum Gallery Labels on the WayLabels throughout the Sheldon Jackson Museum gal-lery identify museum artifacts by cultural affiliation when known. The labels in the Sheldon Jackson Museum gal-lery are currently undergoing some changes. We are slowly working through the process of replacing the word Eski-mo with the terms Iupiaq, and Yupik to more accu-rately identify cultural affiliations when known. Both these terms derive from a root word that translates roughly to person (the root words yuk, and inu create the words Yupik, and Iupiaq). Although the word Eskimo is used by many Alaska Na-tive people, we have chosen to remove this word from our gallery because some individuals find that the term has a de-rogatory connotation. Although the etymology of the word Eskimo is not clear, one of the many possible origins for the word is a translation of an Algonquian term meaning eater of raw meat (other possibilities for the word ori-gin include a translation of an Ojibwa term meaning to net snowshoes, and a translation of the French word Excom-minquois the Excommunicated ones). Additionally, be-cause Eskimo is a term that was applied to some Alaska Native people after contact with foreign visitors, it does not reflect indigenous language use. Along with the changes noted above, we are also up-dating labels to identify and honor the names of artists who are represented within the collection when known. Some of the recognized artists in our museum collection include Haida artist Charles Edenshaw (1839-1920), St. Lawrence Island Yupik carver Moses Soonogrook (dates unknown but active during the 1920s and 1930s), Tlingit silversmith and carver Rudolph Walton (1867-1951), Hai-da carver John Wallace (born around 1861-1951), Tlingit master carver Kadjis.du.axtc (dates unknown but active in the late 18th and early 19th century) , Tlingit weaver Jennie Thlunaut (1892-1986), and Iupiat basket weaver Kinguktuk (1871-1941). Stop by and the museum and tell us what you think of our new labels.Meet our Board Members~President: Mary BooseVice President: Margie EsquiroTreasurer: Bonnie BrennerSecretary: Cass PookAt Large: J. BradleyAt Large: Alice SmithAt Large: Sandy FontaineMeet our Staff~Curator: Nadia JackinskySecurity & Visitors Services:Lisa BykonenPeter GormanSeasonal Staff~Beth GarrisonDebbie DolandFriends Business Manager~ Mary WheelerAmy Chan with Alaska State Museum Curator of Collections, Steve HenriksonPage 2 Page 3Ivory Drill Bows Animate Stories of Carving and Collecting in Northwest AlaskaAmy ChanDuring the 19th cen-tury, pictorially en-graved drill bows formed part of a nearly ubiquitous tool com-plex used throughout the Bering Strait. In lieu of a writ-ten language, carvers record-ed their personal experiences and cultural understandings on drill bows which feature umiat pursuing whales, hunt-ers tracking caribou and seal, village activities such as hanging up salmon and pick-ing berries, warfare, festivals, athletic events, mythological creatures and Euro-American interactions. Cultural knowledge and oral histories embed-ded within the engravings carry valuable information on environmental and socio-cultural relationships that remain important to Alaska Native communities. In March I enjoyed the opportunity to work with drill bows and other engraved ivories in the Sheldon Jackson Museum and Alaska State Museum. The SJM cares for 10 engraved drill bows. One ivory bow (SJ-II-P-13) collected by Sheldon Jackson, probably in the early 1890s, features two sides engraved with kayakers hunting rows of geese with bird spears. The long ivory bow is ac-companied by a wooden mouthpiece, drill and hearth pro-viding unique insight into the tool preferences of a particu-lar carver. After research among the collections, I gave an presentation on drill bows and carving stories as part of the Museums Winter Lecture Series. Lively discussion followed the talk and attendees enjoyed the opportunity to closely examine engraved ivories on a collections cart. Following my time in Sitka, I worked with engraved ivories at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau. The Museums collection includes 22 en-graved drill bows. An ivory bow (II-A-9) acquired by Dr. Daniel S. Neuman appears to be engraved by a King Island carver who combined an older pictorial style of figures with drilled heads and verti-cal lines and a newer picto-rial style with large figures and animals with thick bod-ies and rocker fill. As King Is-landers became well known for using rocker fill during the 1930s, this ivory bow can be viewed as a transitional object moving from objects made to use within the community to decorative items made for sale. While at the Museum, I shared my research during a lunch lecture. For the presentation, several drill bows and older engraved ivories were brought out from collections and put on display. This spring and summer I am participating in community-based work discussing engraved ivory motifs and oral sto-ries with carvers and community members in Point Hope, Kotzebue, Nome, St. Michael, Barrow, Shishmaref, Little Diomede and Anchorage. In addition to my dissertation, information from this project will be included in a Smithso-nian website featuring engraved ivory drill bows and con-temporary perspectives. Hopefully this project will result in multi-vocal discourse concerning engraved ivories and the continued import of carving as Arctic expression.Many thanks to the staff of the Sheldon Jackson Muse-um and Alaska State Museum for providing opportuni-ties to work hands-on with the collections and assisting the research visit in a myriad of ways!Amy ChanPhD Candidate, Arizona State UniversityPre-Doctoral Fellow, Smithsonian National Museum of Natu-ral History, Arctic Studies CenterChanA@si.eduContinued on page 3The Sheldon Jackson Museum was pleased to be part of the 2012 Clan Conference. One of the highlights of our participation at the conference was a visit by de-scendants of Rudolph Waltons family to see artifacts in our collection that were made by Walton. Walton (1867-1951), one of the first graduates of the Sitka Industrial Training School, was a prolific silversmith and wood worker who owned Walton and Sons Shop in Sitka un-til 1920. The Sheldon Jackson Museum has thirty-five pieces in the collection that are attributed to Walton in-cluding silver spoons, bracelets, tongs and napkin rings, an ivory cribbage board, a model ivory totem pole, and a group of wooden feast dishes. It was a pleasure to meet descendants of Waltons family and to share the muse-ums Rudolph Walton records and artifacts with them.Another highlight of the SJ Museum participation at the Clan Conference was our involvement in the Smithso-nian artifact scanning project which was organized by Eric Hollinger, Smithsonian National Museum of Natu-ral History archaeologist and repatriation officer, and his two assistants Adam Metallo, and Carolyn Thome. Hol-linger and team documented artifacts using a Faro laser scanner. Such technology creates detailed digital records which can be used to make 3D prints of artifacts for educational purposes. Two Sheldon Jackson Museum artifacts were scanned during the clan conference in-cluding an example of Haida argillite sculpture, and Katlians helmet which was worn by the Kiksadi warrior during a battle with the Russians in Sitka in 1804. FishSkin Basketry Workshop with Audrey Armstrong, July 19, 20, 21, (Thursday-Friday-Saturday)One of the highlights of the Sheldon Jackson Museum is our collection of fish skin clothing, baskets and bags. Because fish skin is easily accessible, durable, and waterproof, fish skin was used by Athabascan, Alutiiq, Yupik and Iupiat peoples as textile material. Today, few artists continue the tradition of fish skin sewing. The Sheldon Jackson Museum is pleased that master fish skin artist, Audrey Armstrong, will teach a three-day fish skin basketry workshop this July in Sitka. The fish skin workshop is made possible with the gen-erous support of the Alaska Humanities Forum grant Documenting Endangered Arts Technologies. The workshop can accommodate twelve participants who will each produce an old-style Athabascan fish skin bag during the three-day period. The bags will be made from salmon skin that participants will learn to process themselves. The Sitka Sound Science Center is generously providing salmon and space for the workshop at their facility.Audrey, who is a Koyukon Athabascan originally from Galena, Alaska, first learned fish skin sewing through personal experimentation with the material. In 2008 she took a fish skin basketry class under respected gut and fish skin artist Fran Reed. When Reed passed away in 2008, Audrey began teaching the salmon skin basketry class. Along with working with fish skin, Audrey is also a mas-ter skin sewer and bead worker. If you are interested in participating in this class, please register by calling the Sheldon Jackson Museum at 747.8981. The cost for participating is $100 per person. After registering, Audrey will contact participants with a list of materials needed for the workshop. We recom-mend registering early since space for this class is limited. Friends Member Jennifer Olney-Miller helping with the new floating frames. Summer is almost here! And with that comes cruise ships bursting at the seams with new comers, hope-fully ready to shop at The Friends gift shop. So, be-fore this time arrives, I am inviting you to come see the new items that are in the shop by local and state-wide artists! There is beautiful silver and copper jewelry by Dave, Nicholas and Jerrod Galanin. Carved bracelets and healing hand earrings by Doug Chilton, sea otter trimmed baby blankets and sea otter headbands by Jennie Wheeler. The shop hosts beautiful cedar ros-es made by Nicole Carle, mini bentwood boxes and other carved items by Abel Ryan. The glass cases are filled with beaded earrings by Cass Pook, Pam See, Melody Daniells, Susan Canipe and other artists. The shelves are lined with art by Mike & Edna Jackson, Sarah Williams, Peter Paul Williams, Selina Alexander, Hannah Sherman, Marlene Nielson and many more. The items in The Friends shop are perfect for birth-day, graduation and baby shower gifts. Stop by when you are looking for a special anniversary gift or pres-ent for retirement. The shop celebrates a wide range of Alaskan Native arts by carrying books, carved ivory, skin sewing, to devils club oils and ointments, dolls, grass, cedar and spruce root baskets and so much more. Hope to see you soon!Mary WheelerBusiness ManagerYoure Invited~Daisy and Radolph Walton, their oldest son Thomas and two daughters, ca 1894. Western Americana Collection, Beineche Library, Yale Univer-sity, Emmons Family Papers (S1306)Mary Ellen Franks model doll. During the conference our museum also hosted a lec-ture on spruce root basketry by local Tlingit artist Teri Rofkar, and a model doll making class led by Mary Ellen Frank, Lisa Golisek, and Elizabeth Knecht (all from Ju-neau). We also welcomed visiting researchers and schol-ars who shared some of their expertise with us including Emily Moore, Robin Wright, Katie Bunn-Marcuse, Steve Brown, Peter Corey, and Tina Bruederlin. Thank you to all who stopped by the museum!Participation at 2012 Clan ConferenceScanning Katlians Helmet at the Clan Confernce April 1st, 2012Mary Ellen Frank showing children how to make the dolls with the as-sistance of Lisa ByokenPage 4 Page 5Sheldon Jackson Museum 104 College DrAdmission Fee: $5 (Adults)$4 (Senior Rate) 18 & Younger FreeMuseum Gallery Phone: 907.747.8981Museum Gift Shop: 907.747.6233SLAM UpdateProgress on the State Library, Archive and Museum building [SLAM] in Juneau is moving quickly. Completed design documents are scheduled for delivery on April 18th. This concludes a two year effort to define a new combined State Library, Archive and Museum complex in Juneau housing all the collections of the three sections of the Division, 75 staff and new public areas such as galleries, classrooms, lecture room, video conference rooms, research room and food service area. The new building offers approximately 2.5 times the amount of current exhibition area and 3 times the amount of current collections storage. It will also feature state of the art paper and object conservation laboratories. The project has been strongly supported by our statewide constituency who has contributed their time to make their Legislators and the Governor aware of the importance to all Alaskans of protecting and growing the collective holdings of our history. Total project cost for the 120,000 square foot building is $126.5M. The project has raised and committed approxi-mately $32.5M to-date. The Governor and Senate have placed $49M in this years capitol budget and as of April 11 we wait for the House appropriation. Should the project prevail and the final appropriation this session yield $60M, construction could begin in September of 2012. Construction to completion is estimated to take 30 33 months. The first phase is construction of the vault or collection storage area. The existing museum will remain open during this phase estimated at 14 months. Once the vault is completed we will relocate collections and the existing building will be removed. It is anticipated the State Museum will be closed to the public for 20 months. Efforts are underway to find another venue to install robust exhibits and information on the construction of the new facility. Our statewide outreach, traveling exhibits and Shel-don Jackson operations will remain uninterrupted. Concurrent with the SLAM project is the start up of the design process to develop a Master Plan for Sheldon Jackson Museum / Stratton Building use. We have secured the services of DOT Project Manager Bonnie Allen and are start-ing the search for a Design Team to work with SJ staff, FOSJM and LAM management. We will provide more informa-tion on the process and progress as details become available. These are exciting times for the Alaska State Museums system and LAM in general. Thank you all for your continued support over the years. We look forward to building a strong future for SJM/Stratton and Sitka with you. Best Regards;R. BanghartChief Curator ASMInterim Deputy Director LAMSECURITY NEWS AT SJMLet there be Light and better regulated Temperature and Humidityby Lisa Bykonen, Security & Visitor ServicesAfter nearly two decades, or a century and a quarter depending upon your view, the Sheldon Jackson Museum gallery finally has improved illumination. The main gallery is now lit by state of the art Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs that are 18 and 9 watts instead of 75 watts and higher. The lower wattage results in huge energy savings plus the bulbs can last up to 10 years. How did this happen or more importantly why? The big picture an-swer is energy conservation. An energy audit of the building determined that energy costs could be cut by more energy efficient light-ing and installing direct digital controls on the air handling units. DOT, the State agency that manages big projects, using federal funding made it happen. The museum was one of a number of facilities throughout Southeast Sheldon Jackson MuseumGift Shop15% OFF!Summer HoursMay Through September:9am-5pm Daily907.747.6233*Discount for Members only. Alaska included in this energy conservation project and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). I want to thank the efforts of a number of former employees, who made certain, lighting remained a priority project for the Museum. Over the years there were many complaints about poor lighting. For the last several summers we handed out flashlights to our visitors and saw many visitors turn away saying, its too dark. I wont be able to see anything. Another positive, I hope, is that staff will no longer have to witness the circus act of our contract janitorial crew climbing and maneuvering a twenty four foot extension ladder around and between exhibits which would alarm anyone who ever witnessed it. For nearly a month after the project was completed I found myself setting the dimmer sliders at half power just to get use to the additional brightness. The LED lamps should last for awhile, and from now on we will borrow a scissor lift-as pictured in a previous newsletter-for the chore.Additionally the energy upgrades included installation of direct digital controls (DDC) to the heating ventilation air handling (HVAC) system. This new monitoring and control system is administered through a web module that com-municates with three sensors installed where thermostats and humidistats were previously located. I had hoped for a Set it and Forget it but its not quite that simple. I have borrowed this analogy; imagine putting a new young jockey on an old race horse. So far so good!Photo by ASMs exhibit staff who were onsite to assist and also check lighting levels to assure measures were within conservation parameters.John Wallace ASL-PS036-2844 Evelyn Butler, see page 3 to read about our new label updatesPage 6 Page 7Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum104 College Dr. Sitka, Ak 99835Date________________ New Member______ Renewal________Name_______________________________________________________________________Address______________________________________________________________________City_________________________________________ State______________Zip__________Phone (H)____________________________(W)____________________________________E-mail address_________________________________________________________________ Check enclosed______ or Credit Card #____________________________Expiration Date_____Signature______________________________________________________________________Please Check what membership you would like:__Student ($10)__Individual ($25)__Family ($35)__Sustaining ($60)__Contributing ($250)__Corporate ($500)__Additional Donation to the NADPAmount of $_____________Application for Membership 2012For Office Use Only:Computer:____Letter:_____Card(s): ____Check #:_____Cash: ______Credit Card: ____Please return this form with a check or credit card # to:Friends of Sheldon Jackson Musuem104 College DrSitka, AK 99835907.747.6233Mothers Day Sale!25% off all Necklaces!15% off all Cedar RosesMay 1st-10thStop in for a chance to win a beautiful gift!_GoBack_GoBack_GoBack_GoBack_GoBack_GoBack