July 12, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 28

Museum spotlights art from Klukwan

Creations by Klukwan’s Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center traditional arts program will be featured in a show at the Sheldon Museum beginning Friday, part of the museum’s six-week spotlight series.

The exhibit will consist of at least 60 pieces of artwork created by students and instructors. Many of the pieces were finished years ago, carving instructor Jim Heaton said, adding that the art classes were first formed in 2001.

The Healing Robe was the first piece created, and was woven by a group of women in the village. This project prompted the training of artists to produce more work.

At least 20 students in addition to multiple instructors have gone through the program, Heaton said. Instructors were certified and hired by the University of Alaska to teach it.

“I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people that so much has been done” since many people haven’t been out to the village to see the pieces, Heaton said. “And it’s going to be a good boost for the artists to see interest in what they’re doing.”

This is traditional arts program’s first exhibit, said Jerrie Clarke, Sheldon Museum director. “We’re very pleased to have it here.” The exhibit will be up through August 25.