Visceral: Verity Legacy Identity
Alaska Native Gut Knowledge and Perseverance
The Visceral Trilogy
A series of three interrelated Visceral exhibitions explore contemporary and historical Alaska Native issues, spotlighting gut as a conduit for Indigenous voices.
Visceral: Verity is the solo exhibition of contemporary artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs. Her mixed-media installations combine combines natural and synthetic materials and evoke questions of authentic experience, truth, abuse, transparency, and credibility. Sonya is one of only a few artists working with marine mammal gut.
Visceral: Legacy is a further interpretation of Sonya’s solo exhibition themes through objects that she and fellow gut enthusiast and Alaska State Museum conservator Ellen Carrlee chose from the museum’s permanent collection. As a guest curator, Sonya brings the richness of her childhood in Nome, her international career as an artist, her life in Anchorage, and her insights as a person of Iñupiaq, Athabascan, and European heritage.
Visceral: Identity features a selection of gut parkas from across Alaska to highlight the technical and historical aspects of this remarkable material in cross-cultural perspective. Ellen and Sonya explore the latest (analytical and social science) research examining this medium and why gut remains a significant material for key relationships in Alaska.
These three galleries will be open through the summer 2023 season, augmented by special workshops and lectures, and closing in mid-October 2023.
- felt in or as if in the internal organs of the body
- characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect
- characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions
- the quality or state of being true or real
- something (such as a statement) that is true
- the quality or state of being truthful or honest
- a gift by will especially of money or personal property
- something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
- the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another
- condition or character as to whom a person or what a thing is: the qualities, beliefs, etc.
- the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions
Behind the Scenes of Visceral
Alaska State Museum conservator Ellen Carrlee gives a public presentation about her conservation treatments of gut objects featured in the exhibition Visceral and a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to put the show together.
Elaine Kingeekuk and the Arts from Savoonga
Raktenga Elaine Kingeekuk gives a public presentation about her cultural and artistic practices making dolls, gut baskets, toddler regalia, and jewelry from customary St. Lawrence Island Yupik materials. Ms. Kingeekuk is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik culture bearer and co-author of the book Seal, Thimble & Sinew Thread: Sewing Art of the Siberian Yupiks from Savoonga, Alaska.
Visceral Panel Discussion with Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Ellen Carrlee, and Sven Haakanson
Visceral: Verity, Legacy, Identity - Alaska Native Gut Knowledge and Perseverance co-curators Sonya Kelliher-Combs and Dr. Ellen Carrlee are joined by Dr. Sven Haakanson, Jr. for a discussion exploring contemporary and historical Alaska Native issues, spotlighting gut as a conduit for Indigenous voices.
Visceral-Verity with Sonya Kelliher-Combs
Alaska State Museum Solo Artist and Visceral Co-Curator Sonya Kelliher-Combs gives a lecture about her mixed-media work which employs both natural and synthetic materials and draws attention to questions of authentic experience, truth, abuse, transparency, and credibility.