Grant lets Kodiak museum seek Alutiiq artwork

KODIAK — A grant will allow a Kodiak museum to add to its permanent Alutiiq collection.

The Alutiiq Museum is adding contemporary artwork reflective of the culture, history and environment of the Alutiiq people after receiving the grant from the Rasmuson Foundation’s art acquisition program, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.

The Rasmuson program, now in its 10th year, offers Alaska museums a chance to purchase artwork from artists in the state. It’s a competitive process, meaning museums have to apply for the grants, which the Kodiak facility has successfully done in the past.

“It is usually an annual program,” museum registrar Marnie Leist said. “Last year we purchased a parka by Lalla Williams, an Alutiiq artist.”

The museum also has previously purchased a jewelry collection, dolls and headdresses.

All submissions will be considered this year, even though museum officials have said there is particular interest in woven mats, skin sewing and kayaking equipment.

“It relates to a project and also fills gaps in our collections,” Leist said. “Those are items identified in our collections plan.”

The Rasmuson grants allow the museum to spend up to $35,000 on contemporary art, something the Alutiiq Museum wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

“We don’t actually have any kind of acquisition funds as a museum,” Leist said. “It’s only through the Rasmuson art acquisition initiative that we can purchase contemporary art.”

For this year’s submissions, all works have to be less than five years old, already completed and created by an artist living in Alaska. All mediums will be considered.

Application details can be downloaded from the museum’s website.

Each artist is allowed to submit up to five pieces for consideration. Deadline is July 19. After that, staff members, the board of directors and collections advisory committee will select the artwork that represents the museum’s needs.

Winning selections will be announced in August.

Online: Alutiiq Museum: www.alutiiqmuseum.org.

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