VISCERAL: VERITY LEGACY IDENTITY
March 3 - October 9, 2023
A series of three interrelated V 9sceral exhibitions explore contemporary and historical Alaska Native issues, spotlighting gut as a material used to express Indigenous voices.
Visceral: Verity opens Friday, March 3, 2023 as the solo exhibition of contemporary artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs. Her mixed-media work employs both natural and synthetic materials and draws attention to questions of authentic experience, truth, abuse, transparency, and credibility. Sonya is one of the few artists who work in the endangered art of marine mammal gut.
Visceral: Legacy opens Friday, May 5 as a further interpretation of Sonya’s solo exhibition themes through objects that she and fellow gut enthusiast and Alaska State Museum conservator Ellen Carrlee chose from the museum’s permanent collection. As a guest curator, Sonya brings the richness of her childhood in Nome, her international career as an artist, her life in Anchorage, and her insights as a person of Iñupiaq, Athabascan, and European heritage.
Visceral: Identity, which also opens Friday May 5, features a selection of gut parkas from across Alaska to highlight the technical and historical aspects of this remarkable material in cross-cultural perspective. Ellen and Sonya explore the latest (analytical and social science) research examining this medium and why gut remains a significant material for key relationships in Alaska.
These three galleries will be open through the summer 2023 season, augmented by special workshops and lectures, and closing in mid-October 2023.
Image: Detail of cuffs and seam from an Alutiiq/Sugpiaq raincoat.