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Author: Robert Davis Hoffmann

Robert Davis Hoffmann is a Tlingit artist whose carvings and designs reflect both past traditional and present Tlingit culture. He values the historical context of indigenous art, while perceiving the present as part of that context. As a result, he includes “non-traditional” inlays, works in mixed media, and stretches design conventions. Raised in Kake, Alaska, Robert holds a teaching degree from Sheldon Jackson College (SJC) which is noted for a history of acculturating Alaska Natives. His father too, graduated from SJC in that era of acculturation, but Robert witnessed him practicing his artwork to hold onto cultural identity. Robert attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, but culture shock and homesickness brought him back to Kake. Nevertheless, it was there he discovered freedom to experiment and create without a feeling of betraying tradition. Robert has designed theater sets and created enormous¬† backdrops for cultural events. With his mastery of Tlingit design, he teaches classes, workshops and art camps to a variety of age groups. His ability to use Tlingit design to tell a story is transmitted through his unique art.