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Adam John

I am a full-blooded Athabascan Indian, born and raised on the banks of the Tanana River, in Alaska’s interior. My works of art are traditional and contemporary carvings, each of which reflect the history and culture of Alaska’s Native people. Those who know something of this culture easily recognize these masks, and understand their deep spiritual meaning. My preferred carving wood is the thick bark of the Alaskan cottonwood.

Where I grew up, productive people were perpetually working with their hands. Whether in our daily work, or our leisure time, everyone was involved with some form of “making” and creation; from snowshoes, to knitting, to moccasins and carvings. Their objects took on special meaning, and the passing of time during their making acted as both a catalyst for intergenerational exchange, and an opportunity for recounting stories of the day. Our community was strengthened in these settings.

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