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  • Division facilities will be closed March 25-27 for the state holiday.

ASM Exhibitions & Events

Visceral: Verity

formline design with bright pink, blues, greens, and brown against dark backgroundExhibit opening March 3, 4:30 – 7:00 pm
Lecture with the artist at 6:30 pm

Visceral: Verity is a new exhibition of work by contemporary artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs. Her mixed-media installations combine natural and synthetic materials and evoke questions of authentic experience, truth, abuse, transparency, and credibility. She is one of only a few artists working with marine mammal gut.

Kelliher-Combs returns to the museum for the first time since her powerful 2001 solo exhibition, bringing to her art the richness of her experience growing up in Nome, her career as an internationally recognized artist, her life in Anchorage, and her insights as a person of Inupiaq, Athabascan, and European heritage.

Visceral: Verity is the first in a series of three interrelated exhibitions opening at the State Museum. The Visceral trilogy is co-curated by Kelliher-Combs and explores contemporary and historical Alaska Native issues, spotlighting gut as a material used to express Indigenous voices.

The second exhibit of the trilogy, Visceral: Legacy opens in May and expands Kelliher-Combs’s solo exhibition themes through a selection of objects from the museum’s permanent collection.  

The third exhibit of the trilogy, Visceral: Identity also opens in May and features gut parkas from across Alaska to highlight technical and historical aspects of this remarkable material in cross-cultural perspective. Kelliher-Combs and co-curator Ellen Carrlee, Conservator of the Alaska State Museum, will explore the latest research examining this medium and why gut remains a significant material for key relationships in Alaska.

The Visceral trilogy of exhibitions will be on display through the summer 2023 season and will include special workshops and lectures.

Image credit: Idiot Strings, Credible (detail), Sonya Kelliher-Combs 2022.

Jannah Sexton Atkins: Prayer Markers - Ecological Relics

fall leaves in foreground against dark forest backgroundFebruary 3, 2022 - April 8, 2023

Using found and recycled objects combined with hand-drawn and sculpted elements, Sexton Atkins assembles works that contemplate society’s connection to nature.

The Marker Series chronicles "humanity’s impact on Earth’s complex natural ecosystems by exponentially disrupting the elegant inter-relational web of organic life forms and their natural sustainable habitat critical for life itself.”

Each of the 20 Prayer Markers in the exhibition includes a portrait of an insect, bird, fish or plant. Sexton Atkins playfully combines these portraits with salvaged, societal waste. The resulting Markers encourage connection and responsibility to our planet.   

Image credit: Prayer Marker - Wake for the Wetlands, mixed media assemblage, found objects. Jannah Sexton Atkins.

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