Lena | Ceara | Jennifer
This August we are proud to present a joint exhibition by three young artists with Alaska Native heritage: Lena Snow Amason (Alutiiq), Ceara Lewis (Aleut), and Jennifer Angaiak Wood (Yup’ik). All three have participated in group exhibitions at our gallery in the past, but this represents the first spotlight exhibitions for each of them.
Lena Snow Amason (Alutiiq) grew up in the village of Port Lions, Alaska. Born to a family of artists, her parents Alvin Amason and Kathy Nelson encouraged her to create art from an early age. Amason draws upon imagery of sea life around Kodiak Island for much of her carvings, paintings and drawings. She recently participated in a group sculpture show at the Pratt Museum and also has held shows with her father. Her work is included in collections at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alutiiq Museum, University of Alaska Museum of the North and the Anchorage Museum. Her work has also been included in an exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Her most recent bodies of work have focused on incising sea mammals and painting soft, abstract colors on reclaimed wood.
Ceara Lewis (Aleut) grew up in Cannon Beach, OR, but spends her summers commercial fishing with her family in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Lewis carves mask forms from yellow or red cedar, incorporating a mixture of traditional and contemporary materials, such as hammered copper, porcupine quills, sinew, abalone, and beads. She graduated from Willamette University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. She currently apprentices under Greg A. Robinson, a Chinook carver/artist.
Jennifer Angaiak Wood (Yup’ik) is an artist of Yup’ik, Irish and Italian descent, and was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. The Yup’ik side of her family comes from Tununak, AK, on the coast of the Bering Sea. Jennifer started carving masks when she took an Alaskan Native Art class in high school, and she has been mostly self-taught after the unexpected passing of her teacher, Ron Manook. Since moving to the Seattle area in 2015, she has met and worked with other artists, who are helping her learn to use more traditional tools such as bent knives and adzes. Jennifer’s inspirations include historic masks, stories, and her time spent in Tununak growing up. She usually adds modern materials and concepts to her work, and she uses her art as a way to connect with her Yup’ik heritage and bring a little bit of Yup’ik history into the modern world. Her masks grow ever more complex, and she continues to expand her range of materials and techniques with each one.