Decolonizing Alaska is a multimedia visual art exhibit featuring contemporary artists exploring and responding to Alaska’s history of colonization and its emerging influence on sustainability, both environmental and cultural.

“As the world’s attention shifts to the shrinking polar ice cap and the future of our planet, Alaska’s place in the world has moved from the fringe to the center,” Curator Asia Freeman said. “Concerns about climate change and cultural survival resulting from colonization have pushed Alaska to the forefront of global conversations." 

A collaboration of 31 diverse native and non-native Alaskan artists, Decolonizing Alaska introduces new ideas around Alaskan culture by connecting endangered traditions with contemporary identity constructs. Artists move beyond stereotypical ideas of dogsleds and Eskimos and inspire conversation around self-definition and the power to express ideas about identity separate from those that permeate popular culture.

Decolonizing Alaska will run February 3–March 18 at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University, located at 500 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006. 

Exhibition public hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m.


Opening Reception: Friday, Feb. 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by February 1.

Decolonizing Alaska Panel Discussion: Saturday, Feb. 4 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Moderated by Curator Asia Freeman, the discussion will feature artists Annette Bellamy, Joel Isaak, Da-Ka-Xeen Mehner, Rika Mouw, Benjamin Schliefman, Michael Walsh and Crystal Rose Worl. Please RSVP here

Fish Skin Workshop: Sunday, Feb. 5 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Artist Joel Isaak will provide a group demonstration for how he skins salmon, one method of how to prepare salmon skins for sewing and various stitches, along with an explanation of their function. Students will process a fillet-sized piece of salmon skin for making a salmon skin product. Students can choose to make a product based on examples Joel brings in, or the group can work together to make a unique pattern for an individual project. All skill levels are welcome. Please RSVP here.