ART AND SCIENCE – Master carver Tommy Joseph spins a 12-foot yellow cedar pole he carved for the Sitka Sound Science Center, during an unveiling ceremony Saturday morning next to the Sage building on Lincoln Street. The sculpture, which was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, depicts sea creatures that live in Sitka Sound. Metal worker Mike Litman built the rotating base for the pole. Joseph explained at the unveiling that by rotating the sculpture all sides will get an equal exposure to the prevailing wind and rain. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitka Native Artist Gets $25K Museum Grant

Nick Galanin poses with his son, Elliott, age 3, in his studio. (Sentinel Photo)

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitka artist Nicholas Galanin has been awarded a $25,000 grant by the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship.
    In addition to the unrestricted grant, the honor comes with an agreement to purchase Galanin’s work for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Ind.
    The fellowship annually honors four juried artists and one invited artist who excel in the field of contemporary art.
    Galanin, who is part Tlingit and Aleut, is a concept-driven artist who works in sculpture, photography and other media, the Eiteljorg museum said.
    Galanin said this wasn’t the first time he applied for the fellowship, but it’s the first time he has been selected. He said he is pleased with the honor and that his work will be displayed from November of this year through February of 2014. The museum will also purchase five of his works and commission another one by him.
    “It’s a pretty big honor,” Galanin said. “I’m real excited about it.”
    The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art was founded by Indianapolis businessman and philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg. The museum’s website said that its mission is to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America.
    The Eiteljorg collection includes works by such artists as T.C. Cannon, N.C. Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe, Allan Houser, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Kay WalkingStick.
    Galanin said the museum is ahead of its time in looking at contemporary art created by Native Americans.
    “They have one of the largest and best contemporary art collections,” he said. It is only one of two museums east of the Mississippi that feature both the American West and Native America, the Eiteljorg website said.
    Galanin said he hasn’t decided how he will spend his award money but that part of it will go toward studio costs and equipment. “I have other things, like student loans.”
    Galanin received his bachelor of fine arts degree from London Guildhall University and an master’s from Massey University in New Zealand. He is a 2012 USA Rasmuson Fellow, and his work can be found in collections both in the United States and abroad.
    Galanin’s works purchased for the museum’s permanent collection include:
    – “The American Dream is Alive and Well,” a 2012 piece that features a U.S. flag in the shape of a bearskin rug, .50 caliber ammunition, felt, foam, gold leaf and plastic.
    – “I Looooove Your Culture!” a 2012 fine woodworking piece.
    – The Imaginary Indian Series, ca. 2009. Wood, wallpaper, paint, described as non-Native “Native Art.”
    – “I Think It Goes Like This?” a 2012 piece, wood and paint.
    – (with Jerrod Galanin) “U’háan-We,” 2012.
    Galanin’s work can be seen at
    Other artists selected this year include invited artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish), of Vancouver, B.C., and juried artists Julie Buffalohead (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma), of St. Paul, Minn.; Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Blackfoot) of Ottawa, Ontario; and Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band of Cherokee) of Tulsa, Okla.

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