Nature and indigenous Alaskan art with Joe and Martha Senungetuk

Alaska Natives have been creating art influenced by nature and culture for thousands of years. The clothing, tools, kayaks, weapons, baskets, and other items of everyday life and ceremony were, and are, functional and artistic. During the 1960s young Native artists like Joe Senungetuk started creating Indigenous art that blended the traditional to more contemporary. They started including environmental and social issues into their art along with the influences of their upbringing in rural Alaska. Joe attended UAF, taught art at Mt. Edgecumbe in Sitka, attended the San Francisco Arts Institute (in 1968!), author of Give or Take A Century: An Eskimo Chronology, and was a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, all while being a prolific artist. Martha was born in Cordova and is an established Native artist in her own right. This Outdoor Explorer welcomes Joe and Martha to discuss the influences that their long lives in Alaska have had on their art. Currently, Joe and his wife Martha are the Elder Artists in Residence at Alaska Pacific University. Also joining host Paul Twardock is James Tempte, a young indigenous artist, and Karli Tyance Hassell.

HOST: Paul Twardock


  •  Joe and Martha Senungetuk, and James Tempte and Karli Tyance Hassell


Joe Senungetuk at APU

Senungetuk Arts website

Joe and Martha Senungetuk and APU Elder Artists in Residence Program

James Tempte’s website

BROADCAST: Thursday, December 9th, 2021. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, December 9th, 2021. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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