Project 28

Polar Lab: Collective

A collaboration between the Anchorage Museum and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, this project connects emerging Alaska Native artists to collections at the Anchorage Museum and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center as a resource for research and study for advancing development as an artist, to strengthen the relationship between Alaska Native artists and the museum by increasing accessibility to museum staff and collections, and to expand outreach to Alaska Native communities. One of the goals is also to create triggers for open-ended conversations. We work with emerging and community-based artists to provide infrastructure for empowering voices.

While museums traditionally curate objects, we are interested in curating conversations and convening people through the power of art and culturally history to host meaningful discussions about future scenarios and contemporary conditions. We think artists are experts at providing the narrative that provoke dialogue. Through this program, emerging Indigenous artists have unprecedented access to museum collections and curate exhibitions of traditional and other objects/artifacts in a contemporary context.