SHI launches contest for Celebration 2024 Art Design

Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, who were named lead dance group for Celebration 2024. Photo by Nobu Koch, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is holding a contest to solicit a design for Celebration, a biennial dance and culture festival that celebrates Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures.

SHI is seeking a Northwest Coast art design that depicts the theme: Together We Live in Balance, which incorporates two significant concepts.

“Southeast Alaska Natives have learned that social and spiritual ‘balance’ is essential to maintain a healthy society and our relationships to past and future generations,” said SHI President Rosita Worl. “We also recognize that this same concept of ‘balance’ applies to living in our environment and to maintaining balance among the animals and fish populations on which we depend. The reference to ‘together’ is an acknowledgment of the importance of unity among our peoples and communities to ensure that the strength of our society is maintained.” 

SHI is requesting sketches of proposed Celebration art, as opposed to finished pieces. The process is similar to a request for proposals. The sketches must be clear enough that reviewers can understand and interpret the concept.

The winning artist will receive $1,000 and the design will appear on materials, including t-shirts and a program, associated with the event, which is one of the largest Native gatherings in the state, drawing thousands of people to Juneau every even year. SHI will also publish an article about the artist in the Celebration program.

The institute may also purchase additional entries for other uses, such as illustrating programs.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 12, 2024. 

Celebration 2024 is scheduled for Jun. 5-8.