Sitka Native artist gets $25K museum grant

In this Feb. 5, 2013 photo, artist Nick Galanin holds a mask in front of his son Elliott at his studio in Sitka, Alaska. Galanin was recently awarded a $25,000 grant by the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. (AP Photo/Daily Sitka Sentinel, James Poulson)

SITKA — 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 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’h√°an-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.


Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel,


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