Kodiak Island Native artists and sisters Lena Amason and Anna Nelson are the featured First Friday contemporary artists for July and August at the Alaska Native Arts Foundation (ANAF) gallery in Anchorage. The show “Kitoi to Sitkalidik” is about subsistence activities that influence their artwork. The images focus on animals and sea life.

Amason and Nelson are daughters of artist Kathy Nelson of Port Lions.

According to ANAF writer Trina Landlord, the sisters said stories they heard or experienced while out on skiff rides, beach picnics, berry-picking, smoking and canning fish, clam digging, hunting and commercial fishing make up who they are as people.

Amason now lives on Sitkalidik Island, by the village of Old Harbor. She studied art at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where her father, Alvin Amason, is director of Native art. She is now a full-time artist with work in the permanent collections of museums throughout Alaska. She often uses driftwood and other beachcombing treasures as canvas or frames for her paintings.

Nelson lives at Kitoi Bay on Afognak Island. She grew up by the ocean and spent countless hours exploring and playing on the beach, Landlord reports. Her earliest memories are filled with the beauty and erratic intensity of salmon fishing with her father on his 39-foot salmon seiner. Her contribution to the exhibit portrays a salmon opener through evocative photographs.

The show is at the Alaska Native Arts Gallery, 500 W. 6th Ave, in Anchorage.

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