Life in the Aleutians
Earth, Fire, Water and Wind
First Aleutian Invitational Art Show
February 12, 2011 - May 21, 2011
Ray Hudson is an artist, a basket weaver, an author, a linguist, a musician, a poet, a humanitarian, a historian, who has himself become a major part of the history of the Aleutians. Ray came to Unalaska in the early seventies as a young art and history teacher, and shared his talents with the people of Unalaska for over 35 years. Ray not only encouraged and initiated interest in one of the unique Unangan forms of art, the basket weaving, but became one of the foremost weavers of Unangan baskets. Ray has authored several milestone publications on Aleut culture, and though documenting the history of Unalaska in writing has been one of Ray’s important roles as historian, his art reflects the living spirit of Unalaska during the time when it went from a fishing village of about 350 people to the number one fishing port in the United States. He is a graduate from the University of Washington, and has studied woodblock printing with Lu Fang at the Zhejiang Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou, China. He is the recipient of the National Education Association’s Leo Reano Award for his work with First Americans. In 1990, the Alaska State Council on the Arts recognized Hudson’s efforts on behalf of the arts in the Aleutians by presenting him with the Governor’s Award for the Arts. He is an adopted member of the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska and a member of the Unalaska History Preservation Commission.
Gertrude Svarny is a well known Unangan artist. Her contribution to preserving, continuing, and enriching the traditions of Unangan art and culture is immense. Today she is one of very few Unangax artists residing in the community that nourished her talent, and is an inspiration for the young and aspiring native artists in the community of Unalaska. Gertrude came to art relatively late in life, but her versatility and creativity are astonishing: she is a gifted basket weaver, a virtuoso carver, an outstanding bentwood hat maker. Her interpretation of the Unangan history and culture is based on thousands of years of Unangan cultural traditions, but is not a mere replica or duplication of them. Her intricate ivory and soapstone sculptures, masterful visors and full crown bentwood hats,
Nancy Stonington began watercolor painting in Alaska in 1971. Her work has blossomed into an exploration of the beautiful country, villages, plant and animal life of the U.S. Northwest. Since 1971, Nancy has produced and sold over 2,500 original watercolor paintings, 248 of which were made into limited and open edition offset lithograph reproductions. She has had over 100 one-woman shows in areas that range from Basel, Switzerland; Lahaina, Hawaii; Aspen, Colorado; Laguna Beach, California; Prudhoe Bay and Dutch Harbor, Alaska; and Novosibirsk, Russia. In 1981, a retrospective collection of Stonington paintings was displayed at the Frye Museum in Seattle. She has twice been a guest artist aboard the M.V. Lindblad Explorer: first traveling through the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and then on a cruise from the southern tip of Argentina to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. She and her husband Chuck Beatie, a builder, now travel between Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Nancy continues to paint on location and from their studio/home on Vashon Island near Seattle, and their ranch in Sisters, Oregon. She is looking forward to a more relaxed schedule which will allow her to host watercolor workshops around the world, and enjoy the landscapes that have inspired her all these years. When time permits, she and Chuck enjoy working on their land, raising and planting trees, and tending their many animals, both wild and tame.
Cory Arnold is a photographer and Alaskan commercial fisherman. From 2003-2010 he worked as a deckhand on the Bering Sea crabber f/v Rollo and more recently, runs a wild salmon gillnetting operation in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The off season is filled with travel, gallery exhibitions, magazine and ad photography assignments with a bit of backyard gardening, cat maintenance, and skateboarding in Portland, Oregon. Corey was recently nominated for the Aperture West Book Prize and the Santa Fe Prize for Photography, and named one of PDNs 30 for 2009. His pictures have been featured in The Paris Review, Esquire, Italian Rolling Stone, The Sunday Telegraph, Artweek, Outside, and Juxtapoz.
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sophisticated grass baskets, tell the story of Unangax people, while her use of local minerals for pigments and such traditional materials as ivory, sinew, seal intestine, sea lion whiskers for decorations reinforce the notion of timelessness in her art. Gert’s work has been featured in many permanent collections, including the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum, National Bank of Alaska, Rasmuson Foundation Private Collection, British Petroleum, Anchorage International Airport, and the Southern Plains Indian Museum. Svarny has also been featured in the International Arts from the Arctic and Bending Traditions traveling exhibition, as well as in many shows and galleries in Alaska, Washington, Washington D.C. and elsewhere. She received the Best in Show in Sculpture as well as a Special Merit Award at the Cherokee Historical Society Trail of Tears Show.
A Brisk and Joyous Maneuvering, woodblock print, 2010
This Desert Which is Atka, woodblock print, 2010
Church in Snow, watercolor, 2011
Unga View, watercolor, 2011
Matthew and the Sleeper,