Alumni at Work
Vessel created for BFA Exhibition, Spring 2017
Dinnerware created for Jenggala Keramic, Bali Indonesia
Vessels created while studying at Rochester Institute of Technology
Post Baccalaureate Student, Rochester Institute of Technology
In 2017, Lukas Easton received his BFA degree from UAA which culminated in an exhibition
of his thesis work in the Kimura Gallery entitled, “Visceral Visions”. A series of
large-scale vessels with carved narrative depicting the depravities of war, politics,
and society. Lukas was awarded a UAA Undergraduate Research Grant which he used to
purchase tools and supplies needed to complete his thesis. Lukas presented a lecture
about his work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2017.
In the fall of 2017, following a summer of commercial fishing in Homer, Lukas began studying as a post-baccalaureate student in ceramics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He had the opportunity to be mentored by Peter Pincus and Jane Shellenbarger, two highly esteemed professors in the ceramic field. While there, he reconnected with a former UAA ceramic student, Ade Waworuntu, who owns Jenggala Keramic, a large-scale ceramic production company in Bali, Indonesia. Ade invited Lukas to come to Jenggala to continue his research and design a set of dinnerware for her company. His designs will be launched Indonesia in May and will be featured at a hotel supply vendor exposition in Dubai, UAE in September.
In 2019, Lukas was accepted as a graduate student at the Alfred School of Art and Design, a prestigious ceramic art and engineering program in western New York where he will continue to develop his artistic practice.
“My time at UAA has been invaluable to me as my career develops. UAA gave me a space to take on the impossible, and the support and push to make it happen. That time taught me I was capable of more than I ever knew. The program held me to an unwavering high standard and has done an amazing job of sending me out into the world with a well-rounded knowledge of my field and a standard of excellence that is unmatched.”
Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Danielle Larsen, an artist of Unangax̂ Aleut, Koyukon Athabascan, Inupiaq and European
ancestry, made a life changing decision in 2010 to return to UAA and pursue a Bachelor
of Fine Arts degree. Her father John “Jackie” Larsen died in October of that year.
His sudden passing brought Danielle to a place of self-reflection about her life and
choices. She knew that going back to school would direct her to what she truly wanted
to do which was to be an artist. While in college, Danielle began making paintings
that were rooted in her Alaska Native culture and her memories of her family, especially
her father. “I found comfort in painting images of my father’s jars of kippered smoked
salmon. It made me feel more closely connected to his spirit”. Danielle’s professor,
Alvin Amason saw so much potential in this work and encouraged her in that direction.
Eventually Danielle completed her thesis exhibition which consisted of several large
scale colorful works that were displayed in the Kimura Gallery.
Since graduating, Danielle has been learning the cultural tradition of seal gut sewing from Mary Tunchuk, Elaine Kingeekuk, and Sonya Kelliher-Combs. She has a strong connection to the history of seal hunting as her grandfather, John Larson, came to the Pribiliof islands to harvest fur seals. There, he met his future wife(Danielle’s grandmother), Agnia Tetoff. Danielle says of her latest work, “The long history of seal harvest, where every part of the seal is used to make food, clothes, buoys, and art, informs my current artwork. I have continued this tradition by learning how to prepare seal gut for use in my artwork. I did not learn to use gut from my family but believe that it was my ancestors guiding me to the opportunities to learn traditional ways.”
Danielle’s life as an artist has been very busy with many opportunities. She has taught at an Unangax̂ (Aleut) Culture Camp, exhibited her work at the Sevigney Gallery and AFN conferences, and was recognized at the Emerging Designer Showcase at Design week at the Anchorage Museum.
Most recently, she was hired as Graphic Designer and Illustrator at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Her job at ANHTC and being a studio artist allows for her to communicate with her work on many levels. “I hope my work inspires and influences the next generation to learn to further embrace our rich and diverse cultural heritage and continue to share it with the world.”