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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Shocking Story Behind Sealaska Art Show Winner
by Mike Dunham - Anchorage (AK) Daily News

POWERFUL START: Alder left Juneau in dark; war helmet proved its mettle.

The "Best of Show" piece in the traditional category at the fifth Sealaska Juried Art Competition, a Tlingit war helmet by carver Wayne Price, came with an electrifying back story.

The wood came from an alder tree that knocked out the power in Juneau for half a day when it came down, the artist said.

"That wood has had twenty-five thousand volts go through it," Price said, "and it didn't crack when I carved it. So it really had a really good start."

The winners, chosen by juror David Boxley, were announced by the Sealaska Heritage Institute on June 2, at the start of Celebration -- Juneau's big biennial gathering of Southeast Native Alaskans.

Other winners in the traditional art category were: Lily Hudson, 1st place; Shgen George, 2nd place; Merle Anderson, 3rd place.

Winners in the contemporary art category were: Merle Anderson, Best of Show; Cory Stein, 1st place; Chloe French, 2nd place; Lance Twitchell, 3rd place.

Twenty other artists also were chosen to exhibit their work in the show: Anna Ehlers, Calvin Morberg (Honorable Mention), Catherine "Kitty" Young, Clara Haley, Deborah Head (Honorable Mention), Dolly Garza (Two Honorable Mentions), Harmony Hoss, Kathy Polk (Two Honorable Mentions), Lani Hotch, Malcolm Miller (Two Honorable Mentions), Michael Beasley (Honorable Mention), Mike Dangeli (Honorable Mention), Myles Edgars (Honorable Mention), Opal Olsen, Pauline Jim (Honorable Mention), Preston Singletary (Honorable Mention), Ralph Wolfe, Ray Peck, Richard Beasley (Honorable Mention), Vivian Benson (Honorable Mention).

Twelve-year-old Patrice DeAsis also was singled out for an Encouragement of Recognition mention for her entry, a Chilkat weaving.

The work will be on exhibit at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center through June 27. Some of the pieces are available for purchase.

SHI announced the winners of the traditional food contest on Friday. David Williams of Angoon won first place in the black seaweed contest; Wilbert Kadake of Kake won second place.

The winners of the soapberry contest were all from Canada, staring with first place winner Doris McLean of Whitehorse. Fran Neumann of Carcross took second place and Louise Gordon of Atlin took third.

SHI sponsored the contests to encourage Native artists and art forms and to make people aware of the health benefits of traditional foods.

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