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Visiting Research Grant Recipients

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

2013 Recipients

India Young
India Young, graduate student from the University of New Mexico, is studying Northwest Coast silk screen prints as part of the research for her doctoral dissertation.




Glenda McKay
Glenda McKay, Ingalik-Athabascan artist, studied a bird skin parkas in August 2013.





Wendy Proverbs
Wendy Proverbs, Kaska-Dene researcher, studied bark bowls in September 2013.





Joel Isaak
Joel Isaak, Kenaitze artist, studied the construction of skin bags in September 2013.





Avis O'Brien and Ernest Swanson
Avis O’Brien, Haida/Kwakwaka’wakw artist, and Ernest Swanson, Haida, studied masks in October 2013.





Lou Ann Neel
Lou-Ann Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw artist, studied model poles and other Kwakwaka'wakw art made by family members in November 2013.





David A. Boxley
In May 2013, David A. Boxley (pictured second from right), Alaskan Tsimshian artist, conducted research on serving trays, bowls, bentwood boxes and bowls from the northern Northwest Coast. Boxley has dedicated the last 30 years and his artistic career to the revitalization and rebirth of Tsimshian arts and culture. He is committed to practice the culture of his ancestors by hosting traditional potlatches in Alaska and Seattle celebrating important events that have included the carving and raising of totem poles. He has been involved in the formation of four successful dance groups showcasing the traditions of storytelling with song & dance featuring elaborate carved masks, rattles, paddles and other performance items. He is also dedicated to saving the language by teaching Smalgyak classes to Tsimshian communities in Seattle and throughout Southeast Alaska.
Photo: While at the Burke Museum, Boxley, together with his son, Robert R. Boxley (right), and recent Bill Holm Center Research grant recipient, Alison Bremner (left), got a refresher lesson from curator, Robin K. Wright (foreground), on tying bentwood boxes.

Heather Callaghan
Heather Callaghan is Daklaweidi, Teslin Tlingit, and grew up in Yukon Territory. She has been mentored by Wayne Price, Victor Reece, Robert Tait, and Lorene Olivia Hanlon, among others, and works in a variety of media, including silver engraving, weaving, and carving. She studied the Tlingit collection at the Burke Museum in April 2013.

Da-ka-xeen Mehner
In January 2013, Tlingit artist Da-ka-xeen Mehner visited the Burke Museum to study objects in the Ethnology collection. Da-ka-xeen is an Assistant Professor of Native Arts and Alaska Native Art History at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is an award-winning photographer and well known for his large-scale dagger and innovative mask sculptures. He studied photography at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, received a BFA from the University of New Mexico in 2003, and an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2007. His work has been exhibited widely in Alaska and across the United States. He received the Best of Division award in photography at SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market in 2009. His research at the Burke focused on Tlingit warriors' gear and masks as well as a broad range of other Tlingit objects.

Alison Bremner
In December 2012, Yakutat Tlingit artist Alison Bremner visited the Burke Museum to study the objects in the Ethnology collection. Alison is an art student at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she has participated in Ravenstail weaving, drum making, and beadwork workshops. Her work has been exhibited in an Emily Carr Aboriginal student exhibitions in 2012.  While at the Burke Museum she examined Ravenstail and Naaxiin weaving as well as other Tlingit objects.


2012 Recipients

Gordon Greenwald, Owen James and Herb Sheakley
Three Tlinigit artists from Hoonah, Alaska, visited the Burke Museum in early November, 2012: Gordon Greenwald, Kaach Yaas, Chookaneidi Clan; Owen James, Kaa tlaax, Kiks.adi Clan; and Herb Sheakley, Yun Dus, Shungukeidi Clan. They are currently involved in a 5–year project to carve the components of a Tribal House to be built in Glacier Bay National Park at Bartlett Cove. When it is completed the Tribal House will provide Huna Tlingit people with a place where they can gather for learning, sharing and ceremonies. The Tribal House will also be a meeting place where conferences are held under the auspices of Hoonah Indian Association, other Native organizations, and the National Park Service. And it will be a place where both Native people and non–Native vistors can learn about Huna Tlingit Culture. Bill Holm Center Advisory Board member, Steve Brown, worked with them during their visit. This opportunity to study both traditional and contemporary carved objects at the Burke collection was focused on learning more about styles, techniques, and methods that they can bring back to their community to teach and incorporate within current and future projects.

Sonny Assu
Sonny Assu studied the Kwakwaka'wakw collection at the Burke Museum in July 2012. Assu is Ligwilda'xw of the We Wai Kai First Nation (Cape Mudge). An interdisciplinary artist, Assu merges Northwest Coast iconography with the aesthetics of popular culture to challenge the social and historical values placed upon both. His work explores his mixed ancestry and appropriates or transforms items of consumer and popular culture to trace the lineage of his own personal life. He is interested in ideas around Indigenous issues and rights, branding and new technologies. Assu's work has been featured in several solo and group exhibits over the past years, notably Don't Stop Me Now! and Comic Relief at the National Gallery of Canada, Beat Nation and How Soon is Now? at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Changing Hands: Art With Reservation Part 2 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

Lance Twitchell
X'unei Lance Twitchell, Tlinigit/Haida/Yup'ik artist and educator, received a visiting research grant at the Burke Museum in early July 2012. An Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages & Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast, Lance teaches the Tlingit language and Alaskan Native Studies courses, and hopes to develop a Northwest Coast art program there. He has been a digital media artist, and his research on low relief carving and flat design at the Burke Museum will help him to move from digital design into low relief carving. His research was also focused on distinguishing between the Haida and Tlingit styles of art. While at the Burke he was able to consult with Bill Holm Center Director, Robin K. Wright, about Hydaburg genealogy.

Megan Smetzer
Dr. Megan Smetzer, Lecturer at Simon Fraser University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, conducted research at the Burke Museum during the spring and summer 2012. Her research is focused on the 19th diffusion of beadwork along the Northwest Coast. Her specific project focused on the connection between Tlingit and Kwakwaka'wakw communities, particularly the role played by Anisalaga (Mary Ebbetts Hunt) in this often overlooked history. This work expands on her PhD thesis "Assimilation or Resistance? The Production and Consumption of Tlingit Beadwork". The dissertation investigated the transcultural histories of beadwork from the late 19th century to the present through the compilation of over 1100 beaded objects in widely dispersed museum collections; the development of an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to explore this little understood practice; the critical examination of historical texts and images; and, most importantly, conversations with Tlingit elders and contemporary beaders.

Evelyn Vanderhoop
Haida artist Evelyn Vanderhoop is a naaxiin weaver, teacher, curator and consultant. She conducted research on the naaxiin weavings in the Burke Museum collection and archival documents from the UW Libraries in May 2012. Her research focuses on the early history of naaxiin weaving and the historical documents that reveal that Haida women were weavers of both Ravenstail and naaxiin robes (often referred to as Chilkat robes in the past). She has also received an Artist in Residence Award from the National Museum of the American Indian and ATLATL, National Service Organization for Native American Arts to conduct research at museum collections in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. She is currently preparing a manuscript on naaxiin weaving for publication.


2011 Recipients

Frank Kodras
Frank Kodras, a beadwork researcher from Toronto, Ontario, received a Bill Holm Center Visiting Research grant from October 10-14, 2011, to examine the Burke Museum's beadwork collection. Frank met with Bill Holm Center Board Member Dr. Kate Duncan, to discuss differences in tribal styles of beadwork, the focus of his research.


Kay Parker
Kay Parker, an accomplished weaver from Juneau Alaska received a Bill Holm Center Visiting Research grant to examine the naaxiin (Chilkat) tunic in the Burke Museum collection, September 14-15, 2011. After studying with Cheryl Samuel and examining the tunics in the Alaska State Museum's collection in 2003, she wove seven tunics and vests, and taught four other weavers how to make them. A Rasmussen Foundation grant allowed her to study the tunics in the Denver Art Museum and Portland Art Museum before visiting the Burke Museum.


2009-2010 Recipients

Melanie Ancheta
Melanie Ancheta, Bellingham artist and researcher, is studying the materials Northwest Coast indigenous artists used to make paintbrushes, pigments and binders, and other implements in relation to distinct regions prior to the availability of commercially manufactured materials. We are pleased that she was able to research the Burke collection this fall. Melanie received a Bill Holm Center research grant last year, but was unable to come until October 2010, after the completion of the installation of a new compact storage system.

Manuel Salazar / Cowichan
Manuel Salazar is affiliated with the Cowichan Tribe of Duncan, B.C, and lives in the Seattle area. He apprenticed with Delmar Johnny and Art Vickers, and spent several years working at the Native Heritage center in Duncan, B.C. He is a printmaker and painter who specializes in painted drums. His drum was featured on the poster for In the Spirit of the Ancestors exhibit at the Burke Museum in 2007. Manuel Salazar studied Coast Salish prints at the Burke Museum in January 2009.

Fred Fulmer / Tlingit
Fred Fulmer, Sat-Kaa, is a carver and performing artist from the Chookaneidee, Eagle Brown Bear clan, from the Glacier or Ice House. He studied with his late clan uncle Ray Nielsen, Sr. as well as Israel Shotridge and Scott Jensen, and apprenticed with Haida carver Ralph Bennett. He researched Tlingit carvings at the Burke Museum, March 30-April 2, 2009, focusing on paddles, bowls, spoons, seal clubs, canoes, combs, rattles, clappers, staffs, and war gear.

Robin Lovelace-Smith / Tlingit
Robin Lovelace-Smith is a Tlingit sculptor, carver, and who has spent the last ten years training under, studying, and collaborating with Frank Perez, David Boxley, Donald Varnell, Nathan and Stephen Jackson. She was apprenticed to Stephen Jackson when he created Nearing Completion, the Kaats housepost (cat. no. 2006-85/1) for the Burke Museum in 2005. The main focus of her research is Taku River Tlingit Yanyeidí clan carvings, stories, songs, and regalia. She has been meeting with elders and has been documenting stories and photographs and compiling a clan history/family tree. She researched the Burke's Tlingit collection May 4-8, 2009.

Margaret Hartley
Margaret Hartley is a K-8 teacher at Saint Catherine School in North Seattle. She has a B.A. in art history from Auckland University in New Zealand, and a Masters of Education degree from Grand Canyon University, Arizona. She is developing a curriculum on Coast Salish art for K-8 students at her school, focusing on depictions of birds and fish. She studied Coast Salish prints at the Burke Museum, July 6-7, 2009.


2008 Recipients

Felix Solomon / Lummi
Felix Solomon is a Lummi carver, who worked on the restoration of the Centennial Story Pole for Whatcom County. His work has been included in a number of exhibitions in the past ten years: East Sound Orcas Island Lummi Artist Exhibit, Transforming Traditions: The Art of Native America at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Yesterday and Today: Transitions, a Snohomish Arts Council Juried Exhibit, All My Relations: Completing the Circle, and A Sharing of Culture, Allied Arts Annual Northwest Indian College Exhibits. He has studied carving with Ralph Bennett, Ray Morris, and Scott Jensen, and pole conservation with Andrew Todd. While a visiting researcher at the Bill Holm Center in December 2008, Felix studied Coast Salish art in the Burke Museum's Ethnology collection.


Jim Heaton
Jim Heaton has been studying and carving Northwest Coast style art since 1984. He carves totem poles, house posts, and many other types of smaller-scale objects. He has taught Northwest Coast art as adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska, Southeast, and was hired by the Chilkat Indian Village to lead the traditional knowledge camp building projects in 2001. He has also taught for the Klukwan Artist Training Program in which carvers and weavers earned a University of Alaska certificate of merit in Northwest Coast Art. Since 2005, Jim has taught exclusively in the Village of Klukwan through the University of Alaska outreach program, administered from the Sitka Campus. He is currently the president of the Board of Directors of the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center and a board member of the Chilkat Valley Historical Society. While he was a visiting researcher at the Bill Holm Center from Oct. 6-20, 2008, Jim demonstrated carving in the public gallery of the Museum, and gave a presentation at a University of Washington art history class on the building of "The House Like a Mirror," a traditional style long house built for the Chilkat Indian Village.


George J. Bennett Sr. / Tlingit / Sitka, Alaska
George J. Bennett Sr. grew up in Hoonah, Alaska and is now a clan spokesperson for the T'akdaintaan clan of the Tlingit Raven Moiety. He serves on the Sitka Historical Society Board, and is chair or the Tlingit & Haida Central Council Elders Advisory Council of Juneau. A one time Board member of the Friends of the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, he works at the Sitka National Historical Park as a Ranger during the summer season as a cultural advisor to the Park. Bennett has been doing Tlingit art for the past twelve years, and studied with Wayne Price, Tommie Joseph, Reggie Petersen, Will Burkhart, Ernie Smeltzer, and Delores Churchill. While at the Burke Museum as a visiting researcher during July 21-30, he studied the Museum's Tlingit art, collection, including bentwood boxes and bowls, halibut hooks, masks and other sculpture.

Shgen George / Tlingit / Angoon, Alaska
Shgen Doo Tan yóo xat duwasáak. Dakl’aweidí áyá xat. Deisheetaan yádi áyá xat. Keet ooxu hít dáx áyá xat. Angoon kwáan áyá xat. Hello, My name is Shgen Doo Tan George. I am from the Killer whale clan. I am the child of the Raven Beaver clan. I come from the Killer whale tooth house in Angoon. I currently work at Juneau School District as an elementary art teacher and I create my own art for ceremonial use as well as for sale. Tlingit art has always been a part of my life. I learned to do bead work and sewing at an early age and have practiced this type of art since childhood. More recently I have become obsessed with both Ravens Tail and Chilkat weaving. The Alaska State Museum has a wonderful collection of Chilkat and Raven’s Tail weavings and I have visited them several times. I have taken hundreds of photographs of the Chilkat robes that they have. I have also had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of the American Indian and taken photographs of some of those robes. I have found that I learn the most about weaving not from being told but by looking at that art itself.
— Shgen George


Arlene Skinner / Northern Cheyenne / Sioux / Kodiak, Alaska
Arlene Skinner has been practicing her art of twined grass basket weaving for over 26 years, utilizing a natural method of curing wild beach grass. Her work combines fine twining and embroidery work with contemporary artistic design. Her work has been exhibited at the Alutiiq Museum h& Archaeological Repository and the Baranov Museum, Kodiak Historical Society in Kodiak, Alaska, the Alaska Museum of History and Art in Anchorage Alaska.


2007 Recipients

Aaron Nelson-Moody / Tawx’sin Yexwulla  / Poolxtun
Aaron Nelson-Moody / Tawx’sin Yexwulla / Poolxtun is from the Cheak'mus village, Squamish Nation, B.C. He has worked with community groups and students for the last 12 years sharing traditional teachings in Canada, and in Japan and Scotland. He does his own personal artwork, and also teaches storytelling, drumming, and singing, drum making, carving, and jewelry. He has spent the last 10 years being involved with the Uts'am: Witness arts and environment project; he has been on two Tribal Journeys canoe trips on the Squamish Nation 50 foot carved cedar canoe; and has worked at "Kahtou" Native Newspaper, and "Adbusters Magazine" as a writer/photographer. Aaron assisted with a Coast Salish Art show at the West Vancouver Museum in spring 2007. Aaron visited the Burke Museum in April 2007 to study a Squamish Spindle whorl in our collection. While at the Burke Museum he carved several spindle whorl replicas, talked to Dawn Glinsmann's ArtH 309 class, and demonstrated his carving in the Museum's public gallery. Aaron's replica of the Burke Museum spindle whorl was brought back to the Squamish Nation, and was exhibited in "Enduring Traditions" an exhibit at the West Vancouver Museum that he helped to research and produce.


Emily L. Moore
Emily L. Moore is a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in art history at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006 she was awarded a Berkeley Summer Travel grant to research tunics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She has also conducted research at the Portland Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum, as well as the Alaska State Museum and the Alaska Museum of the North, where she worked for a summer in collection management. She has studied Ravenstail weaving at the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan with Haida weaver Evelyn Vanderhoop, and consulted with Tlingit elders and cultural leaders for their knowledge of Chilkat tunics. In March 2007, she presented a paper on Chilkat tunics at the "Sharing Our Knowledge Conference of Tsimshian, Haida and Tlingit Tribes and Clans" in Sitka, AK. Emily visited the Burke Museum in May 2007 to research Chilkat tunics, the topic of her master's thesis, and contemporary Tlingit art, the topic of her Ph.D. dissertation. She is presenting a paper that will discuss the two Burke Museum poles she studied entitled "The Etymology of Place: Four Tlingit Poles by Nathan and Stephen Jackson" at the Native American Art Studies Association conference in September 2007.


Tommy Joseph / Naal xák'w
Tommy Joseph / Naal xák'w, of the Eagle Moiety, Kaagwaantaan Clan, has been actively engaged in Northwest Coast carving for over twenty years as an instructor, interpreter/demonstrator and as a commissioned artist. He has produced a wide range of artwork including 35' totems, smaller house posts, carved and inlaid masks, and a wide range of bentwood containers. He has also replicated a wide range of Tlingit ceremonial at.oow and armor. For the past 14 years, he has been in charge of the carving shop at the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center in Sitka, demonstrating and interpreting Northwest Coast art for the many thousands of tourists that visit during the summer months and has been employed by the National Park Service to restore and replicate some pieces in the Park's extensive collection of totem poles. In March 2007, Tommy visited the Burke Museum to research the traditional Tlingit battle dress, daggers, and other Tlingit regalia in the collection. He talked to Dawn Glinsmann's ArtH 309 class, and also demonstrated carving in the Burke Museum public gallery. In addition he was able to share his knowledge about Tlingit daggers with UW art history graduate student and Bill Holm Center Fellow, Ashley Verplank.

Mike Webber
Mike Webber is an Alaskan Native, a self-employed fisherman and carver from Cordova, Alaska, of Tlingit and Alutiiq descent. He has studied carving with Bob Shaw in Cordova and Tlingit carvers, Nathan Jackson, Fred Trout, and Tommy Joseph. He has taught carving and design at Prince William Sound Community College, and he serves on the Cordova Historical Society Board of Trustees. In 2006 he raised an original 12' "Eyak Subsistence Totem" in the Ilanka Cultural Center in Cordova. Mike will be visiting the Burke Museum in October 2007 to study the Alutiiq and Tlingit collections, with the goal of carving replicas of some of the pieces in the collection.


2006 Recipients

Mique'l Askren
Mique'l Askren is a graduate student in art history at the University of British Columbia. She is Tsimshian and Tlingit from Metlakatla, Alaska. Her master's thesis focuses on the work of a late 19th-century Tsimshian photographer named Benjamin Alfred Haldane from Metlakatla. During the first 30 years of his photography business, his photos and stories of Metlakatla circulated as evidence of what was perceived to be wholesale adoption of Euro-American lifestyle by its members and the creation of a successful self-sufficient Christian community. Through her research, Askren has shown how B.A.'s photography contradicts this colonial narrative of Metlakatla's history by documenting the participation of Metlakatla's members in Tsimshian traditions that were thought to been replaced by Euro-American ways of living. The Burke Museum houses objects from Metlakatla that are stylistically similar to those in B.A.'s photographs . Mique'l will focus her research on the Metlakatla material in the Ethnology collection as well as the historical photographs in the Ethnology Archives.

Mike Dangeli
Mike Dangeli is a Nisga'a artist from Vancouver, B.C. He works in many different media including wood, leather/hide, canvas, bone, and paper. He became a professional artist in 1998 and has demonstrated and presented his artwork around the world, including United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, and Malaysia. He is also the leader of a dance group called the Git Hayetsk Dancers. Dangeli will focus his research on the 19th-century northern northwest coast collection at the Burke.


Lisa Telford
Lisa Telford is a Haida weaver from Everett, Washington. She apprenticed with master weavers Delores and Holly Churchill (her aunt and cousin). She has won many awards for her basketry, and her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, at the Burke Museum in Entwined with Life: Native American Basketry, 2000, and most recently in Changing Hands: Art without Reservation, Part 2—Contemporary Native American Art from the West, Northest and Pacific, at the Museum of Art and Design in New York in 2005, and The Language of Native American Baskets From the Weavers’ View at the National Museum of the American Indian, 2003. She will work with her Haida apprentice, Shauna Colbert, studying the Northwest Coast basketry in the Burke’s collection.