Natasha Pristas and Sarah Loewen created a mobile installation that reflected the history and circular nature of life in the Kodiak Archipelago. Tracy Opheim built a workshop for her folk and traditional artwork. Jacqueline Adams made a dozen Alutiiq dolls. Mary Loewen attended dance and choreography workshops. Brendan Harrington finished his visual arts studio and bought supplies.

That’s a list of Kodiak artists who, in the past decade, received a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Award grant, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. Who will be the next local artist to join that list? Time will tell.

The Rasmuson Foundation and the Kodiak Arts Council are hosting a free virtual workshop from 5:30-7 p.m. Jan. 19 to help artists understand the application process and learn about the program.

“We really want to help artists from all parts of Alaska put their best applications forward,” said Lisa Demer, Rasmuson Foundation’s communications manager.

Online applications for the award will be accepted through March 1. Paper applications must be delivered or postmarked by Feb. 14.

In 2021, award recipients represented 21 communities in Alaska. Kodiak was not one of those communities.

Pristas and Loewen were Kodiak’s last recipients, netting a $7,500 grant in 2020. They planned on capturing the beauty and diversity of the archipelago.

“In much of rural Alaska, we live geographically like islanders, in isolated communities accessible only by water or small plane or ice roads,” the pair wrote in their application to the Rasmuson Foundation.

“Kodiak is an incredibly diverse community, and yet we don’t always acknowledge the spaces between us. This project will be a gathering of what we share in choosing Kodiak as home — with each other, and with those who have passed through the archipelago.”

The island is packed with artists, including Alvin Amason, the 2018 Rasmuson Foundation distinguished artist winner. Amason — a Sugpiaq painter and sculptor — was raised in Kodiak and resides in Anchorage.

“It’s like a validation of almost a lifetime’s worth of work,” he told the Daily Mirror in 2018.

Individual artists, groups and collaboratives — two or more artists working together — are eligible for project awards ($7,500) and fellowships ($18,000). A panel of experts in the arts from across the nation will select 10 fellowship and 25 project winners.

“The Foundation’s mission is to promote a better life for Alaskans. We consider support of the arts core to that, not something that is extra,” said Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president and CEO.

Enzina Marraria, a two-time award recipient, is now a Foundation program officer and oversees the artist award.

“Artists tell us that the process of applying can make them better artists, just by the focused attention on what they create and why,” Marraria said. “Many artists apply multiple times before receiving an award, and some receive an award the very first time.”

Register for the Jan. 19 workshop at

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