Distinguished Artists

Rasmuson Foundation offers one $50,000 Distinguished Artist Award annually in recognition of an Alaskan’s creative excellence over multiple decades and significant artistic accomplishments.* These master artists, makers and culture bearers have chosen to make their lives and careers in Alaska, thereby contributing to the state’s cultural richness. The award serves as validation of the artist’s creative career and as encouragement for subsequent creative work.

*The award amount increased in 2023 from $40,000.

Anna Brown Ehlers

  • Juneau
  • 2023Distinguished Artist Folk & Traditional Arts

Ernestine Hayes

  • Juneau
  • 2021Distinguished Artist Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Wayne Price

  • Haines
  • 2020Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

Richard Nelson

  • Sitka
  • 2019Distinguished Artist Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Gert Svarny

  • Unalaska
  • 2017Distinguished Artist Folk & Traditional Arts

Donald D. Decker

  • Anchorage
  • 2016Distinguished Artist Multidiscipline

Garry Kaulitz

  • Anchorage
  • 2015Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

Peggy Z. Shumaker

  • Fairbanks
  • 2014Distinguished Artist Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Teri Rofkar

  • Sitka
  • 2013Distinguished Artist Folk & Traditional Arts

Kesler E. Woodward

  • 2012Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

Ray Troll

  • Ketchikan
  • 2011Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

John Luther Adams

  • 2010Distinguished Artist Music/Music Composition

Nathan P. Jackson

  • 2009Distinguished Artist Folk & Traditional Arts

Ron Senungetuk

  • 2008Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

Rie Muñoz

  • 2007Distinguished Artist Visual Arts

Delores E. Churchill

  • Ketchikan
  • 2006Distinguished Artist Folk & Traditional Arts

John Haines

  • 2005Distinguished Artist Literary Arts/Scriptworks

Sylvester Ayek

  • 2004Distinguished Artist Visual Arts