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2022 Individual Artist Awards

2022 Individual Artist Awards

Welcome to our online feature about the 2022 Individual Artist Award recipients. A panel of national artists and art leaders from outside of Alaska picked 25 Project Awards and 10 Fellowships from 230 applications. An Alaska panel selected the Distinguished Artist. For only the second time, Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan is awarding a President’s Award to an individual who has contributed extensively to the arts and the community. Other awardees include filmmakers and photographers, poets and painters, traditional artists and those experimenting with technologies. Some are doing large-scale art. Some will use their creativity to illuminate environmental issues. Explore here to learn more about all the 2022 awardees.

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James H. Barker — 2022 Distinguished Artist

A single $40,000 annual award honors a mature artist of recognized stature with decades of creative excellence and accomplishment in the arts.

James Barker portraitPhoto by Pat Race

Photographer James H. Barker has created deeply personal images for more than 50 years, capturing beauty and emotion as he documented life and work. His extensive portfolio from Southwest Alaska is the core of his body of work. Rarely without a camera, he photographed almost everything he participated in, from steam bathing to Russian Orthodox Slaviq, from salmon processing to public meetings. Prints emerged from his home darkroom to create a visual story in books, homes, museums, galleries, public service flyers and state buildings. In 1987, after 14 years in Bethel, Barker, his wife, Robin, and their young son moved to the Interior. There, he became an integral part of the Fairbanks arts community, teaching photography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In 2022, Barker became the first photographer to receive the Foundation’s Distinguished Artist award. Watch a mini-documentary about how Barker became an award-winning photographer and learn about all of the Distinguished Artists.

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Fellowships

$18,000 awards allow mid-career or mature artists to focus their energy and attention for a one-year period of creative development.

Dolores Catherino Dolores Catherino work sample

Dolores Catherino

Anchorage

Music Composition

Catherino, a music composer and experimental sound artist, will further her explorations in polychromatic composition, creating music in an immersive audio format in which sound is perceived as coming from all around. She will add visual media to the experience.

Alanna DeRocchi Alanna DeRocchi work sample

Alanna DeRocchi

Anchorage

Visual Arts

DeRocchi, a professor of ceramics, will invest in materials, equipment and training in welding and glaze chemistry to advance her studio practice of large-scale ceramic sculpture. She also will create a new website and purchase equipment to document her work.

Jill Flanders Crosby Jill Flanders Crosby work sample

Jill Flanders Crosby

Eagle River

Multidiscipline (Choreography/Dance & Media Arts)

Flanders Crosby will participate in multidisciplinary workshops and clinics to work with choreographers, filmmakers and projection artists who design for dance. She plans to create a collaborative dance film, “Bureau of Memories,” to be presented in April 2023.

Ilgavak (Peter Williams) Ilgavak (Peter Williams) work sample

Ilgavak (Peter Williams)

Akiak/Sheet'ká

Multidiscipline (Folk and Traditional Arts & Visual Arts)

Ilgavak will create new garments and artwork made of fish skin, using traditional stitches, tanning methods and construction, turning to an Alaska Native art form disrupted by settler colonialism. He will share Elder-driven knowledge with future generations.

Sonya Kelliher-Combs Sonya Kelliher-Combs work sample

Sonya Kelliher-Combs

Anchorage

Visual Arts

Kelliher-Combs will conduct research to develop four bodies of work as a studio artist and curator to include an exhibit of Arctic/Amazon artists in Toronto, a solo show, a curation of gut work and a group exhibit of work by northern Indigenous women.

Tamara McCoy Tamara McCoy work sample

Tamara McCoy

Anchorage

Presentation/Interpretation

McCoy will study the music, history and performance practice of selected compositions by Johannes Brahms. Her research will include an intensive year of study devoted to specific vocal and piano works and instruction, culminating in several performances.

Pipeline Vocal Project Pipeline Vocal Project work sample

Pipeline Vocal Project

Anchorage

Presentation/Interpretation

Pipeline Vocal Project will design an immersive, inclusive show experience, record their music, and tour Alaska and the Lower 48. Their goal is to put Alaska on the national map by performing and teaching at a cappella festivals and competitions.

Lisa Hawkins, project director, alto and vocal percussion; Adriana Latonio, project lead, soprano; and Molly Dieni, project lead, alto and bass.

Alex Sallee Alex Sallee work sample

Alex Sallee

Anchorage

Media Arts

Sallee will write, develop and direct a short film focused on identity and tradition. The film centers on an urban Inuit queer teen who finds sisterhood, humor, healing and mentorship in her relationship with an older practitioner of traditional skin stitch tattoo.

Kathy Turco Kathy Turco work sample

Kathy Turco

Fairbanks

Multidiscipline (Media Arts & Literary Arts/Scriptworks)

Turco will produce a series of podcasts that integrate storytelling and Alaska natural sounds collected from 30 years of recording in the wild. These podcasts will feature collaborative spoken-word stories to share adventure, awe and respect for the natural world.

Allison Akootchook Warden Allison Akootchook Warden work sample

Allison Akootchook Warden

Kaktovik

Music Composition

Warden, also known as Iñupiaq rapper AKU-MATU, is a tribal member of the Native Village of Kaktovik. Warden will create a publishing company to record and distribute her first album of Elder-inspired hip-hop songs, which have only been performed in live concerts.

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Project Awards

Awards of $7,500 support emerging, mid-career and mature artists in specific, short-term projects.

Keara Anderson

Keara Anderson

Healy

Media Arts

Anderson, an Alaska-born actress/filmmaker, will create a short film set in rural Alaska about a young pianist who sets aside her own goals to care for her mother with dementia, then finds her own freedom. Anderson will use this short to seek support for a full-length film.

Beth Blankenship

Beth Blankenship

Anchorage

Crafts

Blankenship will expand her studio practice of beaded sculpture and machine-stitched drawings to include natural dyeing, felting and coiled basketry. She will create a new body of work that calls attention to the vulnerability of the natural world.

Jeff Chen 陳奕正

Jeff Chen 陳奕正

Anchorage

Visual Arts

Chen is a multimedia producer with roots in the lands of bubble tea and Old Bay seasoning. Chen will photograph and interview people of the Taiwanese diaspora living in Alaska and will share their histories and perspectives.

Jessica Cherry

Jessica Cherry

Anchorage

Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Cherry, a writer, commercial pilot and geoscientist, will travel and work with a coach to finish her memoir, “The Rigging,” about a female scientist’s personal and professional navigation through some of our darkest social and environmental challenges.

Michael Conti

Michael Conti

Anchorage

Media Arts

Conti will edit and finish a five-year film project, “Tupik Mi” (‘tattoo me’) documenting the work of Holly Mitiquq Nordlum and nine circumpolar Inuit women who have received traditional chin tattoos. The film will premiere at the Burke Museum in Seattle in 2023.

Michele Kawahine Danner

Michele Kawahine Danner

Utqiagvik

Multidiscipline (Crafts & Media Arts)

Danner, who makes art as Kawahine Creations, plans to create coloring pages to bring a culturally relevant art resource to Indigenous youth. This printable online book will explore Iñupiaq ways of life: food, regalia, animals, customs and hunting traditions.

Jacob Dee

Jacob Dee

Anchorage

Music Composition

Dee, a working music producer, will create a full-length studio quality album of dream pop music. They plan to write, record, engineer and mix this album in collaboration with music professionals to expand their technical and artistic toolkit.

Steve Durr

Steve Durr

Talkeetna

Multidiscipline (Music & Visual Arts)

Durr will build a new studio closer to his house in Talkeetna, moving from a remote off-grid space where he has painted and made music with friends and collaborators for the past four decades. The studio will make possible new, larger and more expansive work.

Zak Dylan

Zak Dylan

Sitka

Music Composition

Dylan will complete the last phase of construction — the live room — of his recording studio. He will continue to invite collaborators from his community and around the world to this self-contained studio so local musicians can create music any time of day or night.

Sean Enfield

Sean Enfield

Fairbanks

Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Enfield will develop an essay collection, “Who Be Our Teacher — Essays on Race, Education and Identity,” about his brief tenure teaching middle school English to Muslim students during the 2016 election cycle. He will attend writing workshops and update his website.

Andrea Hackbarth

Andrea L. Hackbarth

Palmer

Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Hackbarth will expand her chapbook about the effects of sound waves in context of her work as a piano tuner. This full-length collection of prose poetry will explore connections between musical sound, the science of sound and how sounds resonate with us as human beings.

Derek Haukaas

Derek Haukaas

Anchorage

Music Composition

Haukaas believes that representation in art is vital to identity. He will collaborate with Native Alaska musicians and a co-producer to support Indigenous representation in the music industry. He plans to produce and release an extended-play album this year.

Janissa J. Johnson

Janissa J. Johnson

Larsen Bay

Folk & Traditional Arts

Johnson will purchase a skin sewing machine to streamline the production of sea otter fur items. This machine will allow her to sew items impossible to create by hand. She will travel to Sitka to shadow a master skin sewer to improve her techniques and sewing skills.

Ted Kim

Ted Kim

Anchorage

Visual Arts

Kim, recognized for intricate large-scale murals, will create easily accessible murals in outdoor public places in and around Anchorage, making art without reliance on commissions. Kim believes that art has the power to inspire and bring positivity to those who view it.

David 'Lou' Logan

David “Lou” Logan

Juneau

Folk & Traditional Arts

Logan will build his first Iñupiaq skin-on-frame qayaq (kayak), which will expand his knowledge of traditional qayaq types and allow him to learn more about his Iñupiaq heritage. His long-term goal is to teach traditional Iñupiaq qayaq building to others.

Klara Maisch

Klara Maisch

Fairbanks

Visual Arts

Maisch plans to create a series of paintings and drawings depicting the rapidly receding Gulkana Glacier. She will consult glaciologists and archival photographs and work on location at the glacier during critical times in its seasonal melt-freeze cycle.

Kim McNett

Kim McNett

Homer

Visual Arts

McNett will create a peatland mural for the Homer airport. This public art installation will integrate her love of watercolor illustrations with digital media to celebrate these special wetlands for their biodiversity, beauty and value of sequestering carbon.

John Messick

John Messick

Soldotna

Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Messick will finish and promote his first book, “Compass Lines,” a collection about the journeys that led him to Alaska. He hopes readers will think about “the ethics of their encounters, whether surrounded by the unfamiliar or sitting on the front porch at home.”

Erica Miller

Erica Miller

Hope

Visual Arts

Miller will replace the roof on her 50-year-old painting studio. The new cathedral ceiling will allow Miller to paint on a larger scale and will protect her materials and artwork. Miller will be able to use the expanded space for workshops and private lessons.

Jennifer Moss

Jennifer Moss

Fairbanks

Multidiscipline (Literary Arts/Scriptworks and Visual Arts)

Moss will publish an edition of boreal forest-inspired story cards, which intuitively connect art and science of the forest to the human experience. The papercut originals and cards will be included in upcoming exhibitions of the collaborative program "In a Time of Change: Boreal Forest Stories."

Northwoods Book Arts Guild

Northwoods Book Arts Guild

Fairbanks

Visual Arts

Northwoods Book Arts Guild, with 80+ members, plans to contribute to an international project creating art sold in repurposed cigarette vending machines. The Guild’s collaborative collection of artist-made books will go in an Art-o-mat machine in Fairbanks.

Northwoods Book Arts Guild: Oralee Nudson, project director; Corlis Taylor and Laurel Herbeck, project leads

Gail Priday

Gail Priday

Fairbanks

Visual Arts

Priday, who draws inspiration from the natural world, will create and ship large-scale paintings for an upcoming exhibit at the Alaska State Museum. She also plans to attend a printmaking workshop in Nebraska and will purchase tools and materials for her studio.

Riva Sazama

Riva Sazama

Fairbanks

Visual Arts

Sazama will further her exploration of contemporary abstract Alaska landscapes through metal relief sculptures. She will purchase sheet copper, patinas and tools, and update her studio’s exhaust system. She plans to create larger pieces in her next new body of work.

Seward's Folly Media

Seward's Folly Media

Fairbanks

Music Composition

Seward’s Folly Media will produce an album of music and a film about harsh life experiences to talk about well-being, substance abuse, mental health and healing. Their project intends to encourage creative people to seek help for things that can be difficult to address.

Seward’s Folly Media: Samuel Sattler, project director, executive music producer and screenplay writer; Isaiah Patterson, project lead, executive sound engineer, creative director and screenplay writer; and James Wicken, project lead, executive director of photography and screenplay writer.

Taylor Dallas Vidic

Taylor Dallas Vidic

Juneau

Music Composition

Vidic will gather songs and stories from her Southeast Alaska young adulthood and beyond to record her first full-length album of original songs. She will hire Alaska musicians to craft a journey through her songwriting timeline, then launch a concert tour.

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Duke Russell - 2022 President's Award

This $7,500 award given at the discretion of Foundation President and CEO Diane Kaplan recognizes an individual devoted to the arts — and to giving back. This marks only the second President’s Award in the history of the program.

Duke Russell portraitPhoto by Jimmie Froehlich

Duke Russell

Visual Artist

Russell is a self-taught artist whose iconic illustrations and paintings reveal the characters and stories of Anchorage and beyond, offering a visual running commentary on Alaska life. Multiple solo exhibitions and juried Anchorage Museum shows have featured his work. He also is a community leader and activist and in 2022 brought his mobile kitchen to Centennial Park in Anchorage to provide hundreds of meals to displaced, unsheltered individuals.

Duke Russell work sample
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Individual Artist Awards Program

These awards provide artists the resources to concentrate and reflect on their work, to immerse themselves in creative endeavors, and to experiment, explore, and develop their artistry more fully. It is our hope that these investments result in substantial contributions to Alaska’s culture, the vibrancy of our communities, and to art itself.

Applications for the 2023 Project Awards and Fellowships open Dec. 15, 2022, and close March 1, 2023. Nominations for the next Distinguished Artist will be accepted starting Oct. 1 and will close Dec. 1. Forms and guidelines are available online or by request. Want to know more about the program and application process? Visit www.rasmuson.org/iaa.

Made by Social Good Studio in Anchorage, Alaska.