Drew Michael

Drew Michael

Drew Michael was born in Bethel, Alaska in 1984. Due to an unsafe family environment Drew and his twin brother David were adopted by a non-native family and moved to Eagle River, AK. With his new adoptive family, Drew was able to experience a life filled with hope, love, and joy. As well, his adoptive parents were dedicated to retaining his ties to his rich Yup’ik and Inupiaq heritage.

Growing up in two contrasting cultures, native and non-native, Drew came to understand the positive aspects of each. His native culture has helped him understand the importance of the spiritual world and the wisdom of watching and listening. Drew believes that native people have a unique type of smile, which is genuine, innocent, and loving. The white world offered many opportunities, most importantly being a part of school systems that taught him how to get along in a world run by Western culture, including very different concepts of time and money.

In 1997, Drew created his first mask in an art class with renowned Inupiaq carver Joe Senungetuk. He continued to carve part time, while at the same time working in the oil fields of Alaska. His first formal exhibition was at Quintana Galleries in 2009. In 2012, Drew made the commitment to pursue art full time, and today his works can be found in the permanent collections of the Alaska State Museum, Anchorage Museum and the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

“My art is deeply influenced by the people and events I have encountered in my life. My experiences have taught me to use carving as a form of expression in order to draw understanding and compassion from within.” – Drew Michael

Read the exhibition catalog for the artist’s 2016 solo show:

 

Learn more about the artist with these videos: