New Artist: Lena Snow Amason-Berns

Lena Amason-Berns and fellow contemporary Alaskan sculptor Drew Michael in the studio together.

It’s with much gratitude that we show the sculpture of Alaska-based artist Lena Snow Amason-Berns (Alutiiq) in our “Masters of Disguise III” exhibition this year. Those who are familiar with contemporary Alaskan artists will recognize the name Amason from her father, painter and sculptor Alvin Amason.

Lena has carved and painted a gorgeous plank mask-style wall sculpture for this exhibition and sent it down from the tiny town of Old Harbor, AK, where she lives with her family. This sculpture is wonderfully emblematic of the place where it was made, as it is sculpted from found objects from the town and waterways of Old Harbor. (More information on the artwork can be found on its art page.) Many of Amason-Berns’ mask sculptures are based on the marine life of Alaska, including seals and sea lions, otters, walruses, and killerwhales. The importance of these marine mammals to coastal Alaskans can never be overstated, and the materials seen in this panel–from bits of boats to sections of buoys–reflects the fishing life of the town.

Lena’s work is included in collections at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alutiiq Museum, University of Alaska Museum of the North and the Anchorage Museum.