ArtsNorth

Current Occupation:

 

I recently moved to Eugene, Oregon. I work from a studio I've built in my home. Before coming here I owned and managed ArtsNorth in Sitka, Alaska, since the year 2000. The business offered commercial art services such as illustration, web design and signmaking to local and neighboring communities. It was also the studio and workshop from which I produced my own paintings, portraiture, carvings, and other work for sale through galleries and to the public during the tourist season.

Professional Experience:

Woodcarving:

  • Since 1992 I have resided in the "Indian Village" of Sitka, Alaska, working among the many ivory and wood carvers who live here, learning traditional carving, tool making, and design methods from them. Tlingit totemics require strict adherence to formal elemental usage, the challenge being to capture formal correctness and show originality at the same time. Most of my woodcarving has its focus on the Northwest Coast totemic style: totem poles, shaman masks and other utilitarian or ceremonial objects. I have also applied these totemic formline techniques to engraving and illustration.
  • During the year 2000 I helped design, carve and install a 18' X 12' totemic relief carving known as a 'House Screen' under mastercarver Will Burkhart. The work was comissioned by Shee Atika Inc. and is now displayed in the lobby of the Westmark Shee Atika Lodge in Sitka.
  • In 1998, also under Will Burkhart, I assisted in the design, painting, carving and installation of a 26' X 18' totemic relief carving known as a 'House Screen' which serves as the backdrop to the stage where Tlingit dancers and other artists perform nightly. The work was comissioned by Sitka Tribe of Alaska for the Sheet'ka Kwaan Na Kahidi Community House.
  • From 1996 till 1999, mastercarver Will Burkhart was commissioned to carve several large-scale totems based upon presentations I created. A presentation entails making a detailed illustration based on rough sketches as a 'mock up' of the intended totem and must be accurate and shown in perspective. These presentations are viewed and evaluated by prospective clients (often organizations) who select the artist based upon their impression of the presentation and past works of the mastercarver.
  • Since 1999 I have been manufacturing my own carving and engraving tools patterned after Tlingit artifacts and the tools of the mastercarvers I worked with. (Ship building adzes, detailing adzes, curved and straight knives, etc.)

Illustration:

  • Since 1997 I have been involved in digital graphics and illustrating both privately and on a commercial basis, producing business logos, signs, literature and websites for local businesses.
  • I began illustrating as far back as highschool. Since 1992 my illustration has been focused on cultural artforms, mainly Native American Totemic formline and Celtic ornamental design.
  • From 1987 to 1992 I worked primarily with graphite and pen & ink. My main subject matter was ships and people.


Web Design:

  • Since 1998 I have been doing web design on a commercial basis. This entails designing, hosting, and maintaining websites for several Alaskan businesses. Along with the usual aspects of web design (site themes, navigation, logos, etc.) I often use my own photography. Much of the web content I produce is now made with Macromedia Flash vector animation.

Engraving:

  • I took up engraving with hand tools in 1995. Much of the local native artwork involves engraving copper, silver, or gold. My engraved work often ends up as inlays for wood or ivory carvings as well as jewelry.

Jewelrymaking:

  • I work with fossilized walrus or mammoth ivory, coral, precious and semi-precious stones and engraved metals to make jewelry and other ornamental objects of totemic or Celtic styles. This I have been doing since 1992.

Other Art:

  • Pen & Ink drawing - Over the years many fishing boat captains have commissioned me to create portraits of their ships.
  • Graphite portraiture - This medium enables nearly photo quality pencil drawings of people and I've been at it since 1990.
  • Standard and Digital Photography - Photography has been part of everything I do, from keeping a record of my own artworks to building content for client websites as well as for my own pleasure.
  • Vector Animation for Web - I have used Macromedia Flash since 1999 for personal and commercial purposes

Other Work:

  • I commercially fished Halibut and Sablefish in the North Pacific and the Bering Sea from 1980 during summers. After migrating to Alaska permanently, I fished solidly from 1983 to 2000. The methods used were called 'Longlining'. My home port was Sitka, Alaska. Longline ships follow the fish and the seasons and annually will trek thousands of miles, from the Washington Coast to the Bering Sea, and back. The season begins in the early spring and ends in late November.
  • During the winters of the years spent commercially fishing I worked in many shipyards, thereby gaining various wood and metalworking skills.
  • I was employed at a large printing factory named KTB Inc. From mid 1991 to late 1992. There I have worked with various methods of offset printing, lithograph platemaking, and photographic processes.
  • Throughout the years, due to economic or seasonal concerns, I held numerous jobs for various periods of time. They gave me a diversity of skills and experiences which have been applicable to my chosen field many times.

 

Education:

Higher Education:

  • Currently on haitus. I was enrolled in the Art Institute Online. I completed two years of a four year Bachelor of Science degree in Art, Multimedia, and Animation.

Professional Training:

  • I studied Tlingit formline design and woodcarving under mastercarver Will Burkhart (Sitka, AK) from 1995 to 1999
  • I studied formline design, woodcarving and engraving from 1999 to the present with mastercarver Reg Peterson (Sitka, AK)
  • Over the years circumstances have forced me to master the majority of my skills through a process of self education.

High School:

  • I received a highschool diploma from the University of Alaska in 1991.

Awards and Exhibitions:

  • My work is on exhibit in several galleries in Sitka, Alaska such as Impressions Art Gallery or the Sitka Rose Gallery, among others.
  • In 1996 I received an honorable mention in an exhibit held by the Baranof Arts and Crafts Association in Sitka, Alaska. The painting was a multimedia landscape, using pen & ink, airbrush, colored pencils, and acrylic paints.
  • In 1982 I won first place in an art contest held between all the highschools in my district of upstate New York. The drawing which received first place was an etching of a mountain lion.

 


Personal Interests:

I closely follow politics. I am interested in mythology and philosophy, both of which I find extremely relevant to much of my work
as well as cultural art forms in general. I have a love for literature and music. I'm expanding my skills in music,
although being self-taught can be slower.

References and College transcripts available upon request.

email: kogwonton@yahoo.com

telephone: 541-515-6713