I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the idea of celebration as part of our Tlingit culture, and as of 1982 the Sealaska Celebration has become a biennial tradition, “born of SHI’s Board of Trustees’ desire to celebrate and showcase Southeast Alaska Native traditions and customs” as explained on Sealaska Heritage Institute About Celebration webpage.
Celebration is a new tradition. Celebration is an occassion. It occurs every other even year. We celebrate our culture and our identity at this event. Out of large public displays such as SHI Celebration, perhaps the younger generation will learn that it is possible to celebrate our culture and identity frequently, daily even. Because culture is not separate from who we are or what we do daily. And identity is something we constantly redefine and reaffirm. Events such as Celebration are important in regard to reaffirmation.
I am looking forward to when I can attend Celebration; currently my seasonal schedule at the Sheldon Jackson Museum keeps me in Sitka during that time. I do have a dance staff that has never been danced. Being an artist, my favorite part of Celebration is the Artist Market. This year was the first Juried Art show I entered, and I was pleased that my painting, “Our Land” qualified for entry. Here’s the press release on the 2014 Juried Art Show winners. Also on YouTube, David R. Boxley who had the difficult job of judging the entries, announcing the awards.
The piece I entered was titled “Haa Aani” (Our Land) which shows creatures representing Sky-Water-Land. acrylic on birch panel 30 x 24 x 1 5/8″ done in traditional formline style. I got the idea from an earlier submission to SHI for the Walter Sobeloff Center which was to represent our 4 Core Values. You can see the value “Haa Aani” in the lower corner of the image on the below. Somehow the top of my image got clipped off, but you can see the where the inspiration came from.
Design is what I love to do. I’m getting close to retirement, and when I retire, design is ALL I’m going to do!