SITKA — Growing up in Eagle River, Drew Michael pursued art with a fervency that reached “nerd” levels.
“I built a replica of my house using Elmer’s glue and toothpicks — to scale,” he said, laughing when he recalls his pre-teen enterprise. “It was nuts.”
A few years later his parents, eager for him to connect to his Native culture, signed him up for a class with the Inupiaq master carver Joe Senungetuk.
“He introduced me to mask making,” with various tools that were very interesting to a 14-year-old, Michael said.