Ketchikan, Alaska: Art Residency

In May 2018, I spent 10 days making art at the Ketchikan Arts and Humanities Council in Ketchikan, Alaska. Back in 2015, I had visited the area to attend the Port Protection Solstice Festival and spent time making small studies of seaweed, learning how the various types stretch and changed as they dried. The way that they create layers of protection covering tide pools was most intriguing, leaving me with questions about how they act as a skins, a protective layer that changes varying conditions. On a larger scale, how could they create a sculpture or cover structure?

The work created during my rersidency breaks down into three categories:

  • Seaweed Experiments: collected from local beaches. Rusty metal and neon fishing gear pieces complimenting these sculptures, taken from local dumpsters and purchased at garage sales.
  • Collages: cut-up method of the 1959 book ‘Alaska: Our Treasureland.” This process was integral to warming up my creative flow and leading me to think about how Alaska was viewed as a final frontier, full of opportunity for white men to harvest gold, catch endless fish and clear-cut timber all with blatant disregard for the indigenous populations. It is a collection of essays, photos and illustrations from a leather-bound, gold leaf embossed book that I inherited from a patriarch in the family that I remixed. 
  • Photo journey of the 32 miles of road that line the island. Taken on an iphone and printed on Zink paper (digital equivalent of a polaroid). The journey was mapped out on a grid, often with one photo looking out to sea and another looking inland.

Thank you to the Kathleen and Jeff from the Ketchikan Arts & Humanities Council for their support, use of their space and tolerating the low tide smell for an entire week. Biggest thanks to Cameo McRoberts, the reigning Diva of Ketchikan, for supporting my wacky ideas, sharing her home and general all around love and uplifting of art-making. Thank you to the community for your interest and an Honorable Mention award at the annual Blueberry Arts Festival.