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Arts, Culture & Community Features

5 Y-K Delta Artists Receive Rasmuson Foundation Grants

Golga Oscar

Multiple Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta artists are receiving grants to help fund their work. The Rasmuson Foundation has released its annual list of artist award recipients selected through a competitive application process. Five of the 36 artists selected this year are from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Two of the region’s artists each received $18,000. The money is meant to allow the artists to focus on developing their craft for a year. This year’s regional recipients are Yup'ik artists Steven Stone Sr. of Hooper Bay, and Merna Wharton, who’s originally from Akiachak.

In Hooper Bay, Stone teaches young people how to build traditional arts, crafts, and tools, such as harpoons and ulus. He’ll continue that work while expanding his shop.

Wharton, who lives in Anchorage, will study how to make traditional Yup’ik fur parkas by traveling to museums and talking with families. She plans to replicate the designs for fur parka sewing and share her work with the community.

Three artists from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta received smaller awards of $7,500 to support short-term projects.

Cup’ik artist Polly Andrews from Chevak plans to release her first album of Alaska Native traditional and contemporary music.

Yup’ik artist Golga “Quki” Oscar from Kasigluk plans to create photography and Indigenous clothing, including a parka, mukluks, and five headdresses.

Yup’ik and Sámi artist Ralph Sara from Bethel plans to create an audiobook with original music titled “The Anonymous Eskimo” about his life and recovery from alcohol.

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