Date(s) - 09/16/2016 - 10/23/2016
The Valdez Museum on Egan
Decolonizing Alaska: New Exhibit Comes to Valdez
This fall, the Valdez Museum presents a traveling exhibition of multimedia works by established Alaskan artists responding to the theme of the colonization of Alaska: the commodification and stereotyping of Alaskan cultures and iconography. Decolonizing Alaska is a traveling exhibition from Homer’s Bunnell Street Gallery in which artists inspire dialogue about self-definition and the empowerment of the individual to express ideas about identity apart from the influences of mass media and popular culture.
Rather than mostly focusing on what artists are making, the market appeals to what consumers want to buy: a stereotypical idea of Alaska featuring dogsleds and Eskimos, igloos and objects of native iconography often reproduced abroad. In reality, Alaska artists propose expansive ideas of Alaskan culture and people in art that explores both endangered traditions and new constructs of identity.
Guest curator Asia Freeman writes, “Alaskan artists seek a positive, open forum for self-definition. Decolonizing Alaska shows a new generation facing forward and embracing adaptation and reinvention. The cross-pollination and hybridization between indigenous and global materials and technologies is moving from the margin to the center of discussion. The shared innovations, unconventional materials and profound respect in this exhibit dismantles a hierarchy of colonization and celebrates a new era.”
Decolonizing Alaska runs September 16 – October 23 at the Valdez Museum. An opening reception free for museum members will be held on September 16, 6 – 8 PM.