17 Haines artists are working on pieces for one of the largest public art projects in Haines history.
The Alaska Arts Confluence’s Fort Seward Interpretive Project is funded by a $217,000 grant from ArtsPlace America. The idea is to turn the ruins of the Fort Seward Barracks into an outdoor sculpture garden filled with local art.
Throughout the spring and summer, KHNS will check in with local artists as they work on their Fort Seward projects. The first artist in the series is Donna Catotti, who is painting a still life of Tlingit regalia owned by Lee Heinmiller.
“I saw this closet that Lee has, that has all this stuff in here, and a bunch of headdresses piled up on the table. And at the time I thought what an interesting still life that would make,” Catotti said.
The painting features a raven headdress, a rattle and a drum with killer whales.
“I’m hoping that it will make people curious to know more about this culture that we are so privileged to have here in this community,” Catotti said. “The Tlingit were here long before the rest of us got here and they had a thriving arts tradition before any of us with paint brushes came along doing our thing. So it’s a privilege to use their artifacts for something that I’m trying to create.”
Listen to Catotti describe her painting: