September 20, 2008

NYC gallery for Alaska Natives

Native Alaskan artists get new galleryThe first showcase gallery outside Alaska for native artists of the far north has opened in New York amid heightened interest in the 49th state.

Gov. Sarah Palin's nomination as the Republican vice presidential candidate thrust Alaska into the media glare like nothing since statehood in 1959. Founders of Alaska House, New York, a gallery in Manhattan's Soho district, say the opening was planned long before Sen. John McCain announced the hockey mom as his running mate.

Even so, anything about Alaska seems to be hot, including this new venture into high-stakes art dealing. Some 300 people attended Monday night's opening.

The more than 200 works represent the largest, most diverse collection of contemporary Alaska native art and crafts ever shown outside the state, according to gallery founder Alice Rogoff. They include mixed-media paintings of Kodiak bears, feathered ceremonial masks, wall hangings made from walrus innards, decorative sculptures from stone, wood carvings and buckskin apparel, and baskets and textiles woven from indigenous plants.

1 comment:

Rob said...

NY's Alaska House gallery opened loudly, closes quietly

LOCKED: Soho showplace for Alaska Native art had asked state for $600,000.

The Alaska House art gallery in Manhattan has closed.

The online publication Capital reported on Tuesday that "the doors are locked, the lights are off, and a large square sign with red lettering advertises 'space for rent.' "

No events were listed on the Alaska House website. Capital contacted Sabrina Smith, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, who confirmed that the gallery is in the process of closing down.