PAST BILL HOLM CENTER GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS
Morgan Bell received a summer quarter fellowship in 2010 for her master's degree practicum project. The goal of this project was to facilitate a deeper understanding of contemporary Native American photographers and their artistic achievements by increasing the number of images available within the School of Art teaching database and across disciplines at the University of Washington. 359 photographic works by 39 Native American artists were added to the digital image library and made available for teaching through the University of Washington School of Art. After the completion of her Master's degree in art history, Morgan is continuing on to earn a master's degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington.
Anna Hoover received a fall quarter fellowship in 2009, for her master’s degree project. This project is centered on planning an exhibition of art focusing awareness on a proposed open pit mine, the Pebble Mine, in southwestern Alaska near the headwaters of the world's largest remaining sockeye salmon run. Bristol Bay and its contributing rivers are home to tens of millions of salmon. Salmon use their sense of smell to find their way back to the stream where they were born, and even the smallest amount of copper leached into the river systems surrounding the Pebble site would confuse them to the point of extinction. In addition to an exhibit of contemporary Alaska Native art, the project includes public programming: a Film Festival, a panel on environmental and health effects of the mine, and a photography component that will show the landscape of the area and the people who occupy it, forming an intimate and personal relationship between the audience and this place.
Nadia Jackinsky-Horrell's M.A. thesis research in art history at the UW focuses on masking traditions in Alutiiq communities on the Kodiak Island archipelago and the Chugach region of Alaska. Her research covers both an overview of historical Alutiiq masks found in archaeological excavations and museum collections, and the revitalization of mask making today. Nadia is interested in examining the relationship between material culture and cultural memory. Toward this end, she has studied the collections at the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository on Kodiak Island, and conducted community based research with contemporary Alutiiq artists. Additionally, Nadia has examined related historical collections at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and the Bancroft Library at Berkeley. Nadia has also received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, to study their Alutiiq and Yup'ik collections under the direction of William Fitzhugh in 2007.
Ashley Verplank is conducting research for her M.A. thesis in art history at the UW on Northwest Coast Native American daggers. Her specific focus is on Tlingit daggers, how their form relates to their function and their varying use of copper over time. In order to recognize outside influences and account for Native trade, she is conducting a broad survey of Northwest coast daggers. Through formal analysis of diverse blade, pommel and hilt styles, as well as construction techniques, she will attempt to determine a timeline for stylistic change on the coast and the historical events relating to these changes. She received a Smithsonian Institution Graduate Fellowship for the summer of 2006 to study the dagger collections at both the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History. NMAI curator Mary Jane Lenz was her principle advisor. In 2007, Ashley will be conducting additional research at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau, the Chicago Field Museum, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard.
The first Bill Holm Center Graduate Fellowship was awarded to UW art history graduate student, Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse for the 2005–6 academic year. She is completing the research and writing of her doctoral dissertation on Northwest Coast engraved silver and gold jewelry. Jewelry became a significant part of the commercial Native art market starting in the late-nineteenth century. Silver bracelets in particular remain important to Native people today both as a commercial art and as a means to display cultural identity. Yet, as an art form, jewelry has received little attention from scholars despite the ongoing manufacture, traditions, and symbolism that surrounds it. Bunn-Marcuse's research suggests that the importance of silver and gold bracelets to crest display, the potlatch payment system, and the commercial art market is far greater than previously thought.